I was very pleased to see the historic climate agreement that was reached at COP26 in Glasgow last weekend. The world’s nations came together, with agreement being reached to phase down the use of coal and a roadmap to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. The Glasgow Climate Pact is the first ever global agreement in which every country has signed up to phase down unabated coal which is the dirtiest fossil fuel.
This was one of several positive agreements that will limit global warming to levels less damaging for our planet. Others included agreement by more than 100 countries to reduce methane by 30% by 2030. This is the most potent greenhouse gas, but it was disappointing that three of the world’s biggest emitters, China, Russia and India, did not sign up to that.
We also saw more than 130 leaders, representing over 90% of the world’s forests, pledging at COP26 to end deforestation by 2030, which is backed by almost £14 billion of public and private funding.
This decade is when we need to act and we are hearing a lot about getting things done by 2030. The UK leads by example on Climate Change and nearly two thirds of all Local Authorities have committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030. This includes West Sussex County Council and other Conservative-run councils in West Sussex such as Adur, Arun, Horsham and Worthing.
There is one notable outlier in West Sussex. This is Labour-run Crawley Borough Council whose target to reach net zero is 2050. It’s also embarrassing for Crawley that our town has by far the lowest recycling rates in the whole of West Sussex at just 32%, while the other seven councils in West Sussex (all Conservative-run) have percentage recycling rates in the 40s or 50s.
We need more ambition for Crawley. We should commit to and work to an earlier net zero carbon emissions date. Like others, Crawley should be aiming for 2030 and if that genuinely isn’t possible due to financial cost, then we must aim for net zero by 2040 at the very latest.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
17th November 2021