COUNCILLORS have overwhelmingly backed a pledge to make BCP Council carbon neutral by 2030.

All but one supported a motion at Tuesday’s meeting declaring a climate and ecological emergency, promising a “full report” on actions it plans to take in December.

Speaking after the meeting, cabinet member for climate change Felicity Rice, said it was a “hugely ambitious” target but that she wanted the conurbation to play a “meaningful” role in global efforts.

The motion was put forward by Green councillors Simon Bull and Chris Rigby who said not enough had been done in previous years to tackle the issue.

“Large conurbations are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions as they are, in many ways, easier to decarbonise than rural areas,” the motion said.

“The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority.

“Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, savings and market opportunities, as well as improved wellbeing for people worldwide.”

Originally, Cllrs Bull and Rigby had hoped to suggest a 2025 target for the council becoming carbon neutral but amended this to the “more manageable” goal of 2030 ahead of the meeting.

Conservative councillor Karen Rampton had sought to add to the motion commending the work the previous councils had done and condemning “acts of ecoterrorism” such as the Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

She was backed by Cllr Jane Kelly who said recent high-profile protests such as those led by Extinction Rebellion in London “bordered on terrorism”.

Despite being supported by the Conservative group, the additions were rejected with independent cabinet member Cllr Kieron Wilson describing the comments as “disgusting and crass”.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Rampton said that the decision “opened the door for ecoterrorism and civil disobedience”.

Following this, councillors overwhelmingly voted to support the original motion with Ukip councillor Diana Butler, who had described carbon neutrality as “unachievable” voting against it.

Cllr Rice welcomed the decision saying tackling climate change was “an unprecedented global challenge”.

“By declaring this climate emergency for BCP Council we are making a formal commitment to doing all we can to achieve the target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030,” she said.

“We are not simply declaring a climate emergency – we are agreeing to the production of a 10-year plan with quantifiable targets and actions required to achieve them.

“This is a hugely ambitious target and a challenge that cannot be underestimated, but we must look now at how we go about reversing decades of global environmental decline as a result of human activity.”

She said the council would work with businesses and the community, including establishing a citizens’ assembly, to introduce new schemes aimed at tackling climate change.

A report outlining plans will be provided at the December meeting of the council.