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Town council declares climate emergency

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FROME Town Council has declared a ‘climate emergency’, pledging to make Frome carbon neutral by 2030.

The council has made the announcement in response to a United Nations report that stresses the world has less than 12 years to switch away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

The council had previously pledged in 2016 to become a carbon neutral town by 2046, but have brought the target forward in light of the UN’s report. “Unfortunately, given the new data from the International Panel on Climate Change (a body of the United Nations), our current plans and actions are now not enough,” explained a Frome Town Council report. 

The council will continue to explore ways to avoid using fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas.

It has also been decided that the council will join the ‘Covenant of Mayors’ –  a global network of town and cities who have committed to reducing carbon emissions by 2030. The network enables members to share best practice, ideas, funding and track progress.

Mayor cllr Richard Ackroyd, told Frome Times, “I am delighted that Frome Town Council has declared a “climate emergency” and has committed to going carbon neutral by 2030.  

“This simple action will help to raise the profile of this vital issue both locally and nationally and could secure external support and funding from a proposed Government fund.  

“Other councils such as Bristol City Council have already declared an emergency are many others are also considering making such a declaration and our example will help them to do so.

“To reassure people, I can say that this action and declaration will not involve spending huge amounts of extra money. There are lots of simple things that the council can do to achieve a carbon neutral outcome – in fact we are already doing many of them already. 

“The council already work with renewable energy companies and sustainability groups for example. Along with Mendip’s planning team we also try to maximise energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. We talk to land agents to identify opportunities for wind, hydro and solar energy.  

“Frome Town Council provides home insulation offers and charge points for electric vehicles and regularly works with schools, businesses and other organisations to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions.

“The Town Rangers team already use electric vehicles and reuse materials whenever practically possible.  There are no plastic cups or single-use plastic containers in the Town Hall.

“We also agreed that Frome Town Council would join the Covenant of Mayors, which is a free network of towns and cities around the globe that have committed to reducing carbon emissions by 40%. Members get to share best practice, ideas and funding.

“So, these are early days but it is only right and proper that the council take a lead on this important and urgent environmental issue.”

According to the council, reducing energy use and switching to clean energy in Frome will have many benefits for the town, including the improvement of air quality, minimising fuel poverty, providing a boost to the local economy and the provision of jobs and training.

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