City council votes for recognition of the ecological emergency

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An ecological emergency has been recognized by Henley Town Council.

The motion was passed unanimously by the city councilors who will now endorse the Climate and Environmental Emergency Act and will write to Henley Rep. John Howell asking him to vote for it.

The private members’ bill would oblige Britain to do everything in its power to prevent temperatures from rising above 1.5 ° C.

By recognizing an ecological emergency, the Council agrees that all future decisions on planning and development should take into account the impact on wildlife habitats and biodiversity.

The council declared a climate emergency last year to find ways to reduce Henley’s carbon footprint and the South Oxfordshire County Council declared an ecological emergency.

Councilor Stefan Gawrysiak, who made the motion, told the council meeting that the city has an obligation to care about the ecology of the planet.

He said, “It’s one thing that is really, really important. We declared a climate emergency a year ago and have made significant strides in trying to resolve some of the issues surrounding the climate emergency.

“If we don’t care about the planet’s ecology and the planet’s habitats, they will be forgotten.

“You will have seen the effects of global warming in London when the hospitals and underground stations were flooded. You will have seen the effects in Germany.

“The reason this bill is being tabled, and the reason we have this motion, is because as the planet warms, habitats will be lost and biodiversity will be reduced. At Henley, we have a duty to do both the macro and the micro. In terms of the macro, we think of the entire planet, which means we need to change things in Henley on a micro level that actually helps, like promoting wildlife and promoting biodiversity.

“At Henley we have a lot of talent, a lot of energy and a lot of creativity to actually develop ideas to make our environment better.”

Members of Greener Henley, an advocacy group, urged city councils to support the motion.

Diana Barnett of Henley said, “In the 1950s when I was a kid, sparrows were two to a penny and you could hear them chattering in the gutters all the time.

“This year sparrows are on the red list of the RSPCA. I remember seeing clouds of seagulls chasing tractors, plowing the fields. Last time I checked, I only saw a handful of birds.

“So what happened? Why aren’t there so many insects in the ground and where are all the living things that used to be everywhere? The answer is due in part to habitat loss, in part to pollution, and of course to climate change.

“We shouldn’t just think about doing something, it is imperative that we do something about this environmental crisis. I believe that this council and our city can show the way to show that we care about this city and our future. “

Shiplake’s Kate Oldridge said: “We must act now and I am very grateful to the Council for taking the lead on this matter.

“There is a lot of energy and energy in the church to do this. People want to take action and make changes for the better.

“It is important to raise the awareness of the residents. It is now our responsibility to take action for us and our children. “

The bill received its first reading in the House of Commons last month.


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