Climate emergency declared in Honiton - with town set to be carbon neutral by 2030

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:49 19 August 2019

There have been county-wide protests regarding climate change. Picture: Sarah Hall

There have been county-wide protests regarding climate change. Picture: Sarah Hall

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A climate emergency has been declared by Honiton Town Council - with the authority pledging to make the town carbon neutral by 2030.

The motion was brought to councillors after environmentalist Helena Whitten questioned what the council was planning to do to tackle the town's carbon output.

Mrs Whitten was in attendance at Honiton Town Council's meeting on Monday, August 12, to see councillors agree to work on making Honiton a carbon neutral town.

Speaking at the meeting, she said: "If steps aren't taken to reduce and draw down greenhouse gas emissions radically, runaway feedback loops will project temperature rises into an unstoppable upward curve.

"The world will face water and food shortages, mass migration, epidemics, social collapse and extinction."

Mrs Whitten said while the premise may seem 'surreal' in present day, the concerns cannot be dismissed as 'alarmist'.

She said: "To avoid this runaway climate change, we must all do everything that we can."

The agenda item, which was opened up to the public, was also addressed by resident Adam Powell.

Mr Powell told councillors he wanted to see more wildflowers on Honiton's verges.

He said: "Wildflowers are good for biodiversity, food and habitats for insects, birds and small mammals, for capturing and reducing carbon emissions, and of course the conservation of native flower species.

"Getting all ages involved in growing wildflowers will help build community, in immeasurable ways it will benefit Honiton.

"I hope wildflower meadows and verges will also enhance the tourist experience of Honiton."

Mr Powell said he has several sites in mind which could benefit from wildflower verges, including the banks on the main road leading to the A30 near the East Devon District Council's Blackdown House, verges on the A373 Honiton side of the Otter, and the roundabout near Honiton Tesco in Battishorne Way.

So far, Mr Powell has secured two £100 donations towards his vision.

Cllr John Zarczynski said the request would be determined by the council's green spaces committee and told Mr Powell he agreed with everything he said.

A vote to declare a climate emergency was carried by 10 votes for and one abstention.

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