Cornwall’s leaders vow to fight climate crisis together

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay.

Friday 12th July 2019 17:36 BST

The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board has pledged to join forces with county government to be ‘leaders in the fight against climate change’.

The commitment comes after Cornwall Council leader Julian German addressed the board at a meeting in New County Hall today.

Cornwall Council declared a climate emergency earlier this year and will present a report on tackling climate change to its cabinet on July 24.

Cllr German urged the board, made up of leaders across Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, to help shape the council’s plans for the Duchy to strive towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

He said: “I would like the leadership board to help shape our collective actions, providing the necessary leadership to help us drive forward the changes that will be required from us all.

“No one organisation can ever hope to drive a fundamental shift in the way we work, live, produce food, deal with waste, generate energy and travel.

“Only through systems leadership can we begin to make the shifts required to transition from a fossil fuel driven society to one that better balances the needs of the planet to the lifestyles and ambitions of our future generations.”

Cllr German said the board had a crucial role to play as the strategic voice for Cornwall in discussions with central government about fighting climate change.

He went on to say Cornwall could lead the way in combating the climate crisis. He said: “This is a critical juncture in history; for future generations we need to act now, and I firmly believe that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly can be leaders in the fight against climate change; not because there is glory in first mover advantage, but because we can show what can be done through joined up leadership that will show other regions what strong local systems leadership can deliver.”

Members of the board expressed their support for Cornwall Council’s bid to fight climate change.

Chair of the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership Mark Duddridge said: “We agree there is a climate emergency and the evidence is now compelling that urgent action is required on climate change and biodiversity. That means we need to develop and implement a different approach to economic development.

“We don’t have all of the answers, but the LEP is united in a desire to be part of positive change and to play our part in leading Cornwall and Scilly’s response to the biggest economic challenge of the age.

“We will start by positioning ‘Clean Growth’ at the heart of our industrial strategy, which will take shape this year. This will not only support new sectors, but help our understanding of how we change the economy as a whole. We need new approaches, new measures of success and a more sophisticated approach to economic growth which values the environment.”

In a submitted statement, deputy chair of NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group Chris Blong said: “I will strongly recommend to NHS Kernow Governing Body that the health and care system play their part in helping tackle what is a threat to our individual and collective wellbeing.

“Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have the natural resources at our disposal in areas such as deep geothermal, solar, wind and marine to be a UK vanguard and we must take a leadership role locally, nationally and internationally to help people understand the challenges and opportunities of striving to become carbon neutral by 2030.”

Cornwall Council’s report on combating climate change will be considered by councillors at a cabinet meeting at New County Hall on July 24.

Residents have until July 15 to give their views in a Cornwall Council survey on climate change

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