Milton Keynes Council’s three political group leaders have written to the Prime Minister ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) urging Government to make real, measurable and accountable progress to control climate change.
The summit, to be held from 31 October in Glasgow, will bring world leaders together to agree actions to cut carbon emissions and limit rises in the Earth’s temperature. A rise of just 1.5 degrees – commonly predicted to be the lowest rise possible if we immediately phase out use of fossil fuels and make other changes - could still have a catastrophic environmental and social impact on many nations and would bring more instances of extreme weather and widespread floods across the UK.
All parties supported a motion presented at the last meeting of Full Council by Cllr David Hopkins, and Council Leader Cllr Pete Marland, Deputy Leader Cllr Robin Bradburn, and Conservative Leader Cllr Alex Walker have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP to seek assurances on the following points:
- That along with COP26 President Alok Sharma MP, the Prime Minister will make real, measurable and accountable progress at COP26.
- That the UK Government will lead by example, enabling solutions such as offshore wind power, which powers more than 7.5 million homes in the UK
- That it will support Milton Keynes as it works to attract new and emerging green technology companies to invest in the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Arc
- That it will support the key objectives of COP26: securing global net zero carbon by 2030, which keeps a global rise of 1.5 degrees within reach; adapt to protect communities and habitats; and mobilise international finance towards tackling climate change.
In 2019 Milton Keynes Council’s three political groups agreed a climate emergency and the Council has since committed to the ambition of Milton Keynes becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2050.
Local action towards tackling climate change includes the Council committing to carbon neutral or offset development in Milton Keynes; building and retrofitting council homes with modern air pump heating; changing MK’s 58,000 streetlights to low energy versions; investing in residential electric vehicle charging points; producing energy from MK’s waste, which in time will power street cleaning vehicles; and funding MK firms who use greener ways to recover after the pandemic, plus much more besides.
Council Leader Cllr Pete Marland said: “We are at a crucial time for the future of our planet, and it is in the gift of world leaders to seize this moment and push for clear, joint action against climate change. Locally we stand unanimous in asking the Prime Minister to make genuine progress towards ending the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. We want the UK to lead by example, and we know that Milton Keynes as a place and a population will be playing its part in future change.”