Taunton Town Council unanimously declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency at the June meeting of Full Council after a Motion was brought forward by Councillor Caroline Ellis, and committed itself to play its part in working towards Taunton becoming a carbon-neutral town where nature and biodiversity are restored and thriving by 2030.
The Council noted with alarm the conclusions of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report of March 2023 and believes that action at the local level can play a huge role in tackling the twin crises of Climate and Ecology. As part of this the Council will show leadership by embedding its commitment to climate change mitigation and nature recovery throughout all its strategies, service and policy areas, communications, community engagement work and decision-making processes.
A working group will also now be established to develop a Plan to be brought back within one year and to work in partnership and collaboration Climate Action and Environmental Groups, businesses and residents as well as Somerset Council and Neighbouring parishes.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Tom Deakin, said: “Our team’s first task has been getting the new council successfully up and running, with a robust budget agreed with cross party support, and ensuring key services are being delivered for local townspeople.
“With that done, it is absolutely right that we now deliver on our promise to make the environment, and the emergency facing our planet, our first major policy decision”.
Mover of the Motion, Councillor Caroline Ellis (North Town), said: “There is still a window of opportunity to make the changes needed to create a liveable future.
“We are the level of government closest to the people – we could make a huge difference, adding value to the hard work of so many green initiatives already running across our town.
“We will now start work on creating an action plan in partnership with our communities, focusing on things which will make life better for our residents in the here and now as well as the things that will sustain us in years to come.”