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Agenda item

Notice of Motion by Councillor Yuill

Please see the enclosed paper for details


The Council had before it the following notice of motion by Councillor Yuill:-


            “This Council notes:


1.         Human activity has already caused irreversible climate change, the impact of which is felt around the world, that global temperatures have increased by over 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels that atmospheric CO2  levels are over 406 parts per million (ppm), far exceeding the 350 ppm deemed a ‘safe’ level for humanity, and that the world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature increase limit before 2030; 


2.         The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published in November 2018 describes the harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause, and tells us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities;


3.         In order to reduce the chance of runaway Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate Breakdown, it is imperative that each of us reduces our CO2 eq.  (carbon equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes without delay;


4.         Individuals can accept responsibility for living in a more sustainable way but cannot be expected to make these changes on their own, that carbon emissions result from both production and consumption, and so Governments - national, regional and local - must change legislation, standards and their approach to meet the need to reduce our CO2 eq. emissions and make low carbon living easier to achieve and the new ‘norm’;


5.         Local authorities and councils across the world are responding by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing to address this emergency.


This Council believes that:


1.         All governments have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown, and local government recognises it cannot and should not wait for national governments to act;


2.         It is important for the residents of Aberdeen that the council and other public authorities commit to reducing CO2 eq. emissions and work towards carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;


3.         Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits by way of new jobs, economic savings, market opportunities and improved well-being. 


This Council agrees to:


1.            Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;


2.            Pledge to work proactively with others to make Aberdeen carbon neutral by 2030;


3.            Continue to work with partners and community groups across Aberdeen to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans;


4.            Assist communities to become more resilient to the impacts of global warming, particularly to flooding and to drought;


5.            Instruct the Director of Resources to report to Full Council before the end of 2019 on how carbon budgeting could be introduced into the council’s budget setting processes; and


6.            Instruct the Chief Executive to report to Full Council before the end of 2019 with the actions the Council has taken, and proposals for action to be taken, to address this emergency.”


Councillor Yuill moved, seconded by Councillor Greig:-

That the Council approve the notice of motion and parts 4(a) to (e) of the amendment.


Councillor Bell moved as an amendment, seconded by Councillor Grant:-

            That the Council agree -


(1)      That human activity has caused a world temperature increase of an average of 1degC since pre-industrialisation;

(2)      To note that the IPCC’s special report SR15, published on 8 October 2018, notes the +1.5degC global warming target in the Paris Accord is possible but would require ‘deep emissions reductions’ and ‘rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society’. The SR15 modelling shows that global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050;

(3)      To note that the UK Government greenhouse gas emissions tables show that road transport accounts for over 30% of CO2 emissions, whilst residential heating accounts for over 17% of CO2 emissions;

(4)      To press ahead with all forms of carbon emission reductions which include:-

(a)      improving the energy efficiency of existing and new housing by providing high levels of insulation;

(b)      continuing the deployment of low carbon vehicles and associated infrastructure to deliver economic and environmental benefits to the city;

(c)       working with Government, industry and other relevant bodies to secure funding focussing on the economic opportunities associated with the wider energy transition priority actions in the Regional Economic Strategy, including hydrogen, renewable energy and carbon capture utilisation and storage;

(d)      continuing to engage with the Oil and Gas industry and local supply chain to meet well documented city carbon reduction targets; and

(e)      supporting the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) recent report to the City Region Deal Committee noting that it has developed proposals for the creation of a Net Zero Solution Centre. The overall objective of that additional proposal is that the UK Continental Shelf becomes the first net zero hydrocarbon basin.


On a division, there voted:-


For the motion  (20)  -  Councillors Al-Samarai, Allard MEP, Alphonse, Cameron, Cooke, Copland, Cormie, Delaney, Jackie Dunbar, Flynn, Greig, Henrickson, Hutchison, MacGregor, McLellan, McRae, Nicoll, Noble, Townson and Yuill.


For the amendment  (22)  -  Lord Provost; Depute Provost; and Councillors Allan, Bell, Boulton, Donnelly, Lesley Dunbar, Duncan, Graham, Grant, Houghton, Imrie, John, Laing, Lumsden, Macdonald, MacKenzie, Malik, Mason MSP, Reynolds, Sellar and Wheeler.


The Council resolved:-

to adopt the amendment.


In accordance with Standing Order 31.7, Councillors Delaney, Greig and Yuill intimated their dissent against the foregoing decision.

Supporting documents: