Neath Port Talbot Council declares climate emergency
This article is more than 11 months old
30 September 2022
Members of Neath Port Talbot Council have unanimously declared a climate emergency.
Although the council has previously agreed to support the Welsh Government’s climate emergency declaration, a Notice of Motion by the Wales Green Party’s Cllr Nathan Goldup-John that the council should do so in its own right, was passed by a full meeting of the council on Wednesday, September 28th, 2022.
Under the Notice of Motion, the council is now committed to:
• Calling on the UK and Welsh governments to provide the necessary powers and resources to ensure Neath Port Talbot becomes carbon neutral by 2030.
• Publicising the climate emergency.
• Working with relevant experts in research and development in reviewing its current strategies and action plans for addressing climate change.
• Identifying any further necessary policy changes or actions, seeking help from local partners and other research bodies to explain local what local work is already underway, achievements already made and setting targets for the future.
• Updating on further work undertaken by the council in this area on an annual basis.
In proposing the Notice of Motion, Cllr Goldup-John said: “The declaration of climate emergency on behalf of the whole of Neath Port Talbot Council should be something we embrace regardless of party. It is time we demand change, not just for our generation but for our children, our grandchildren and all those who follow.
“The clock is ticking on the time of fossil fuels so let’s not be those fools who rest on the inaction of others but rather chart an enhanced renewable course for Neath Port Talbot.”
Cllr Jeremy Hurley, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Wellbeing, told the meeting: “Despite not previously declaring a climate emergency, the council has been actively developing a plan to allow it to transition to net zero carbon emissions by 2030.”
The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Stephen Hunt said afterwards: “This council is committed to tackling Climate Change and it is particularly important that the declaration of climate emergency has been approved by all parties.”
Councillors were reminded by officers that the council published its Decarbonisation and Renewable Energy (DARE) strategy in 2019 and earlier this year completed the construction of the award winning energy positive Bay Technology Centre at the Baglan Bay Energy Park.
The council has also been working with other organisations including other public bodies, academia and industry as part of the Welsh Government’s Climate Change Action plan - in March 2021 the Welsh Government approved a net zero target for 2050. Net zero means balancing the greenhouse gas emissions with the amount of gases being removed from the atmosphere. Wales also has interim targets for 2030 and 2040, and a series of 5-year carbon budgets.
And Neath Port Talbot Council is leading on two important green projects as part of the Swansea Bay City Deal – Homes as Power Stations (HAPS) and Supporting Innovation and Low Carbon Growth, a programme of seven inter-related projects which together are designed to deliver low carbon, sustainable and inclusive economic growth for the region.
Neath Port Talbot has amongst the highest total renewable energy capacity in Wales and is the base for the only demonstration area in Wales for FLEXIS, the £24.5m research operation aimed at developing an energy research capability in Wales.