At last night’s meeting of the Full Council, Labour councillors rejected the opportunity to set a firm target for reducing greenhouse gas emission for Haringey, citing the costs of the measures as the reason for doing so. Lib Dem councillors have strongly criticised the move.
Labour tabled a motion asking Haringey Council to sign up to the Nottingham Declaration, a voluntary pledge signed by many councils across the country to actively tackle climate change at a local level.
The Liberal Democrats tabled an amendment to the motion, committing Haringey Council to setting a target in the next three months, and saying that the Council could and should go much further in its pledge. Labour Councillor Brian Haley told his fellow Labour councillors that they should not support the amendment, as the costs of doing so could be too high, in spite of the recent publication of the Stern Report indicating that climate change is going to be cheaper to tackle now than in the future.
Councillor Ed Butcher, Lib Dem Deputy Spokesperson for the Environment, comments:
“This is a very disappointing decision from Labour. We explained in advance that we were fully supportive of their motion, and that we would vote for it in the chamber, as we did. It’s a shame that Labour were not able to do the same and put principal before politics. We expected that Labour might be willing to go further and add some real meat to the bones of the declaration, but they were not bold enough to do so.”
Cllr Bob Hare, Haringey Lib Dem Environment’s spokesperson adds:
“Climate change is an issue in which we all have to play a part. At every level, those in government should be leading the fight, and the Lib Dems believe that this is especially true at a local level. I hope very much that we will find a way to persuade Labour to take this message on board, but I suspect that the only way that we will see real progress here in Haringey is under a Liberal Democrat administration.”