CALLS for a new committee dedicated to climate change and the environment are being discussed at a meeting of Ryedale District Council tomorrow night (Thursday).

The motion to create the new committee has been put forward by Liberal Democrat councillors Steve Mason and Di Keal.

As part of the wide-ranging motion, the pair are asking for the new committee alongside a partnership ‘working party’ made up of councillors, residents, local groups, businesses and academics to advise and work with the council committee.

They will also call for a new Climate Change and Environment Officer to be appointed.

Cllr Steve Mason said: “The evidence is overwhelmingly clear that we all have to cut our carbon emissions and contribute to tackling climate change.

“If Ryedale District Council is to be a leader, then our first step must be to recognise the current climate emergency.

“It’s only by setting ambitious targets can we achieve our goals but I know this area is blessed with the know how and drive to make it happen and Ryedale District Council can lead the way towards becoming net zero by 2030.

“This motion calls on the council for a dedicated committee and working group to deliver a climate change action plan. It is going to take political will and real collaboration, but it is essential that we put a framework in place to achieve this goal.

“I believe this newly-elected council can offer vision, direction and support to empower residents, community groups, businesses, and others get involved and take action, and in such a way that it will bring associated health, wellbeing and economic benefits to the district.”

The motion refers to the Special Report on Global Warming by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018 and the recent commitment by the government to commit to legally binding targets for carbon reduction in the UK.

It also calls on the council to declare a ‘climate emergency’ that requires urgent and immediate action to achieve net zero carbon emissions across Ryedale by 2030.

Cllr Di Keal said: “There is growing awareness amongst local people that we are facing a climate crisis around the world and that urgent action is needed.

“There are actions that even a relatively small authority like Ryedale can take to help reduce local impacts on our environment and we believe that the council should be leading by example in tackling climate change.”