North East Derbyshire councillors have declared a climate emergency in the district.
It follows demonstrations which took place outside the authority's headquarters yesterday, ahead of a motion being put forward in a meeting.
Derbyshire Climate Coalition and Extinction Rebellion representatives came together to pass new measures on improving the authority's carbon footprint. The authority now say a range of sustainable, tough-tackling measures will be introduced going forwards.
North East Derbyshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor Charlotte Cupit said, “The ambition of this plan is to achieve an 80% carbon reduction measured against our 2014 baseline by 2030. This is an ambitious target but we have the right blend of skill and knowledge across the authority and by working with the local community, we are confident we will achieve it.
“And we’ve already started to make in-roads as we have been talking to schools and have eleven applications to our grant scheme to help them develop their own climate change initiatives.”
The approved measures will also see a reduction in the need to travel and a review of fleet management and young people in local schools will also be encouraged to develop ideas and plans that lead towards a carbon considerate culture.
The Council will also seek to work with partners and residents to minimise waste and increase recycling and through promotion of energy efficiency more environmentally friendly alternatives will be looked at within local communities and businesses.
Councillor Cupit added, “We need to reduce our reliance on climate damaging energy and change the way we operate so we utilise more renewable energy sources in a move to a lower carbon lifestyle.
“To do this we need to take a long hard look at ourselves. We need to reduce the amount of power we need by properly insulating our buildings, utilise the latest technologies and educate ourselves and others. Put simply, we need to be more careful with our use of resources by finding more efficient ways of doing things.”
The Opposing Liberal Democrats also put forward a motion to declare a climate emergency, however the conservative councillors voted through the motion their own party had put forward. Lib Dem Councillor for Tupton, Ross Shipman said: "Disappointed my Climate Emergency motion was rejected by all the Tory Councillors present in favour of their own motion with weaker targets. The two independents abstained.
"The weaker motion was supported by all Councillors in the chamber, including the Lib Dem amendment to their motion, and as I pointed out during the debate, I don’t condone some of the things in their strategy, but it’s a start.
"There will be plenty of occasions in future when we can strengthen the targets for the District, so for now I am pleased there will be some progress, even if it’s not as much as we would like."