26 September 2019
A council motion to plant more trees in response to the declared climate emergency was voted down by the Conservative administration at Mid Suffolk in what many believe was a whipped vote.
The climate action motion had been put forward by the Green group, building on the Climate and Biodiversity Emergency motions passed unanimously at the July meeting.
Mid Suffolk’s Green Group of councillors had put forward positive suggestions trying to urgently rise to the challenge of climate change in a practical way.
Introducing the Motion, Councillor Oliver Amorowson said:
"Did you know, there are machines that can extract greenhouses gases from the atmosphere, and create oxygen, and what’s more, they can build themselves? Of course, they are trees. Did you know, the UK used to be rainforest?”
The motion was met with a series of objections from conservatives, without actually opposing a single one of the proposed actions. Some objections were contradictory, seeking fully worked up and costed schemes while criticising the individual points as too detailed. Greens invited them to put an amendment to make the motion acceptable, but none was forthcoming.
Councillor Andy Mellen, seconder of the motion said:
“An emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. We have declared a climate emergency, all we asked for was urgent practical action, but we have been given delay. ”We are frustrated by the lack of urgency since”
Earlier in the meeting he had pointed out that the necessary group of councillors and officers, to be formed to carry forward tackling the emergency, had yet to meet when in July it had been agreed for September.
Group leader Councillor Rachel Eburne, speaking afterwards, said :
“I am disappointed that the Conservative group feel a need to assert their tenuous control of the council by rejecting carefully considered, positive proposals that would benefit all of us.”
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