Green Party councillor calls for immediate climate change action after Warwickshire's scorching temperatures last week
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At a Warwickshire County Council meeting last week, Cllr Will Roberts asked climate change portfolio holder Heather Timms: “Is this week’s heatwave part of a trend due to climate change?”
Cllr Roberts said that since records began in 1893, temperatures in Warwick rarely exceeded 30 degrees. The record temperatures on Tuesday continued a trend of exceeding 30 degrees Celsius in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Following the meeting, Cllr Roberts said: “No one weather event is attributable to climate change, but a trend is and that is clearly what we see here.
"I asked Councillor Timms to confirm that she recognised this trend and the impact of the health of Warwickshire residents, but twice she refused to answer.
"If we don’t recognise the problems we face how are we going to work together to adapt and find the solutions?”
Scientists have predicted that climate change would produce more extreme weather events, whether that be flooding or extreme heat.
Cllr Roberts added: “These kind of events will become more frequent. We need to adapt now.
"For instance, higher building standards in schools and new houses would keep rooms cooler in summer, warmer in winter and reduce energy bills.”
Responding to Cllr Roberts, a spokesperson for Warwickshire County Council said: “Cllr Heather Timms has been very clear that temperatures are rising as a result of human-influenced climate change.
"She referenced this earlier this week, when she was quoted as saying: ‘Climate change means that we can expect more of the extreme weather we are seeing this week. This is happening when temperatures are just over 1-degree centigrade above pre-industrial levels. Even if the commitments from the COP26 conference last year are met, we will be up to 2.4 degrees higher.’
“In Warwickshire, we are fully committed to leading the way to reverse the effects of climate change.
“In March 2022, Warwickshire County Council brought together the whole of the Warwickshire public sector to recognise the urgency of working together to reduce carbon emissions and later this year we’ll be publishing our Sustainable Futures Strategy.
"We have made a commitment to reaching our Net Zero targets by 2030. As part of this commitment, we have worked together as an authority to make reductions to our own carbon footprint through a range of initiatives.
“However, we see our role as not simply to get our own carbon house in order, but also to support the community and voluntary sector in Warwickshire to make their own changes.
"Our £1m Green Shoots Community Climate Change fund, which provides grant funding to community projects to lessen and adapt to the impact of climate change, is the largest fund of its type offered anywhere in the UK by a local authority and is already supporting a huge array of innovative projects.
“Events last week are a reminder to us all that everyone has a part to play in reducing our carbon emissions, no matter how big or small the action as we strive towards a Warwickshire sustainable now and for future generations.”