West Berkshire Council (WBC) is set to declare a climate emergency this week.

The council rejected a similar motion in May due to disagreement over wording but a cross-party working group of councillors has now come to a compromise.

The new motion ‘aims’ to make West Berkshire carbon neutral by 2030 rather than pledging to do so and no longer specifies investment in renewable technologies.

Councillors will vote on the motion at Full Council on Tuesday evening at the council offices in Newbury.

More than 2,000 signed a Green Party-led petition calling on the council to work towards a target of turning the district carbon neutral by 2030.

The motion was debated at an extraordinary meeting on May 30, where councillors voted to set up a working group which council leader Lynne Doherty said would ‘ensure all concerned parties are heard’.

If a climate emergency is declared, the council will commit to creating a strategic plan for West Berkshire, with the aim of delivering a carbon neutral district by 2030.

The motion also states WBC will:

  • Call on the government to provide the council with the resources to make the target possible
  • Work with other authorities to deliver best practice methods to limit global warming to less than 1.5°c.
  • Work with the whole community to deliver the target
  • Present an interim report on progress at the Executive committee in September.

There will be a ‘public gathering’ outside the council offices at 6.15pm tomorrow to urge the council to declare a climate emergency, ahead of the full council meeting at 7pm.

The petition was submitted by the Green Party’s councillor Steve Masters, who was not a councillor at the time.

Three councillors each from the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and the Greens all sat on the working group, which agreed a revised motion last month.