Council Motion: Supporting the Climate and Ecology Emergency Bill

Below is a template Council Motion from the Zero Hour campaign calling for support for the Climate and Ecology Emergency Bill. The bill is currently awaiting it’s second reading in parliament and has the support of the Liberal Democrat Party and Liberal Democrat MPs.

The Bill requires the UK to take responsibility for our fair share of greenhouse gas emissions and commit to a carbon budget that would keep temperature rises below 1.5°C. It also would connect our response to the climate and nature crisis, ensuring we actively restore biodiverse habitats, and halt the damage to our natural world through the production, transportation and disposal of the goods we consume.

More can be read about the bill here.

Zero hour have also launched a declaration for councillors to sign in support of the bill and the climate action it proposes. You can find more information about the Councillor Declaration here alongside a template press release and website post to let people know you and/or your Council Group has signed the declaration.

The template motion is below;


Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt in the UK and around the world. The global temperature has already increased by 1.2°C above pre-industrial levels and the natural world has reached crisis point—with 28% of plants and animals currently threatened with extinction.

Unless we drastically change course, the world is set to exceed the Paris Agreement’s safe 1.5°C limit. Pledges such as the Paris Agreement and updated emissions targets are not legally-binding. The gap between pledges and policy leaves the world on course for catastrophic warming of near 3°C

As the 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes clear, every half a degree makes a world of difference: severe climate impacts with 1.5°C of warming—such as extreme weather patterns causing flooding and heat waves—get significantly worse at 2°C. According to the IPCC, limiting heating to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities. 

 The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world and more than one in seven of our plants and animals face extinction—and more than 40% are in decline. We have lost 95% of our hedgehogs. The UK needs a legally-enforceable nature target so that, by 2030, nature is visibly and measurably on the path of recovery, in line with the Global Goal for Nature and the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature

[Council] notes that:

  1. Many local authorities are already playing an important role in the UK taking action to achieve net zero carbon emissions—and to protect and revitalise local wildlife and natural habitats.
  2. The UK Parliament, in May 2019, declared an Environment and Climate Emergency [and that [Council] has already declared a Climate [and Ecological] Emergency].
  3. There is a Bill before the UK Parliament—the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (published as the Climate and Ecology Bill)—which, if it becomes law, would require the UK Government to develop a UK-wide strategy to address the emergency that would ensure that:
  • the ecological crisis is tackled shoulder to shoulder with the climate crisis via a joined-up approach;
  • the Paris Agreement is enshrined into law to ensure that the UK does its real, fair share to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C; 
  • the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature is enshrined into law to ensure that the UK’s ecosystems are protected and restored with a focus on biodiversity, soils and natural carbon sinks;
  • the UK takes full responsibility for our entire greenhouse gas footprint—i.e. consumption emissions plus shipping, aviation and land-based transport—by accounting for all of the emissions that take place overseas to manufacture, transport and dispose of the goods and services that we import and consume;
  • the UK takes full responsibility for our ecological footprint so that we protect the health and resilience of ecosystems along both domestic and our global supply chains; and
  • an independent, temporary Climate and Nature Assembly is set-up—representative of the UK nations’ populations—to engage with the UK Parliament and UK Government to help develop the emergency strategy.

[Council] therefore resolves to:

  1. [Declare an ecological emergency];
  2. Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (CEE Bill);
  3. Inform local press and media of this decision;
  4. Write an open letter to [local MPs’ names]—shared with our residents through local and social media—urging them to sign up to support the CEE Bill, or thanking them for doing so; and
  5. Write to Zero Hour—the CEE Bill Alliance—the organisers of the all-party campaign for the CEE Bill, expressing its support (

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