Greens call for Norfolk Councils to act urgently on UN Climate report

8 October 2018

Today the strongest ever scientific statement on climate change was released by the United Nations in a new landmark report. It warns governments in the strongest words that heating of the planet must not exceed 1.5 degrees, and that there are only twelve years to make the necessary massive cuts in emissions from fossil fuels, industry and agriculture.

The world has already warmed 1 degree since pre-industrial times and the science is now clear that going beyond the 1.5 degrees will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

The Green party says that the crucial message of the report must be heard and acted upon by all levels of Government in the UK.  In Norfolk, massive changes are needed in areas like transport (1) and development policy, and to agriculture.  The next round of local plans like the Greater Norwich Local Plan must be drafted to genuinely respond to this emergency statement from the UN.

Green Councillor Denise Carlo said:

“How Norfolk develops its transport, its housing, its energy, its industry and its agriculture in the next decade is crucial.  Either we help UK efforts for meeting the 1.5 degree target, or we sabotage them.

“Sadly, our local councils, in the last decade, have make little or no real progress, and instead they are locking-in future emissions to poor transport infrastructure. (2) They must now rapidly undo this damage, and aim for zero-emissions.”

“Strong climate policies must be put in place, both for year-to-year activities and in longer term planning.  There is also required by a legal duty under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 for local plans to have robust climate change mitigation policies, and the Greater Norwich Local Plan must have the toughest possible policies to support tackling this global crisis.


1.  Speaking on Radio 4 World at One on 8 October, Corinne Le Quéré, Professor of Climate Change Science and Policy at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and a member of the Committee on Climate Change was asked what would be the most important issue that people could address and she replied ‘road transport’.

2.   The NDR will increase Norfolk's transport carbon emissions by over 6% by 2032.  The traffic model factors in Bus Rapid Transit, cycling and walking and so the 6% increase can't easily be off-set.   The Greater Norwich Local Plan looks set to continue in the same carbon generating vein.  The County Council and district councils want to extend the NDR across the Wensum Valley. The traffic case for a Wensum Crossing is based on locating a new 3,000 unit housing settlement and a substantial Industrial Food Hub in NW Norwich. Located off the A47, they would, if built, be reliant on car and lorry travel and generate high carbon emissions

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