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Climate change activists silence Norwich City Council

PUBLISHED: 21:11 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:55 13 December 2018

A council meeting was silence by activists from Extinction Rebellion Norwich in a plea for councillors to declare a climate emergency. Picture: Abigail Nicholson

A council meeting was silence by activists from Extinction Rebellion Norwich in a plea for councillors to declare a climate emergency. Picture: Abigail Nicholson

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Activists held a minute’s silence at a city council meeting as they urged members to recognise a “climate emergency”.

City Hall in Norwich. Photo: Nick Butcher.City Hall in Norwich. Photo: Nick Butcher.

Norwich Green Party activist, Jamie Osborn, 24, asked councillors to join him in a minute’s silence to remember those who died in the Californian wildfires, which council leader Alan Waters welcomed.

Before the silence, Mr Osborn asked the council’s cabinet members to recognise a “climate emergency” and consider bringing plans for Norwich to become carbon neutral forward from 2050 to 2030.

Councillor Paul Kendrick, Labour, said: “We recognise the urgency to reduce emissions, that is why we’re working on the best possible plan to achieve the largest reductions possible within the available resources locally and nationally.

“Norwich City Council recognised 10 years ago that we needed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and since then we have achieved a 57.1pc reduction in emissions since 2007.”

“To continue reducing carbon emissions, it would require all sectors working together to make this happen.

“I’m pleased to announce that Norwich City Council will be setting up it’s own 100pc renewable energy company that will help citizens and businesses alike achieve carbon neutrality.”

The council was previously asked to declare a climate emergency on November 27 by Norwich resident, Dr Joanne Veltman.

She told the council to prioritise climate migration and adapt across all departments within its remit.

She also asked for the council to commit to carbon neutrality within the time frame required by international agreements.

Mr Osborn said: “The science shows that we have 12 years to stop catastrophic climate change, but under current plans the council intends to leave it until 2050 before the problem is seriously tackled.

“Other cities have already committed to being carbon neutral by 2030 and the momentum is growing.

“The council can take action straight away by opposing the Western Link Road which would lock in poisonous emissions and introducing robust targets into its new environmental strategy.”

After the minute’s silence was observed, all the activists left City Hall.

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