Eastbourne Borough Council has passed a motion to join more than 140 local authorities in supporting the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill to become law. 

Under the motion, the council will also write an open letter to Caroline Ansell, MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, urging her to back the bill. 

Currently, 118 MPs have voiced their support for this Private Members’ Bill which was first presented in Parliament in 2020 and had its second readinglast month. 

Councillor Jonathan Dow, Cabinet member for Climate Change, submitted the motion – which includes the declaration of an ecological emergency – at Full Council last night (Wednesday, November 17). 

He said: “It is imperative that this bill becomes law, so the Government develops a joined-up strategy to address both the ecological emergency and climate crisis. 

“This bill would require the UK to take full responsibility for our entire greenhouse gas footprint by accounting for all emissions that take place overseas to manufacture, transport and dispose of the goods and services we import and consume. 

“It would also mean the UK takes full responsibility for our ecological footprint so that we protect the health and resilience of ecosystems along supply chains both in this country and globally.” 

The bill also ensures that: 

  • The Paris Agreement is enshrined into law so the UK does its fair share to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (the most stringent of the agreement’s two targets). 
  • 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. 

Councillor Dow added: “I am proud that we are among those councils, alongside many businesses and organisations that are publicly supporting this bill and making it legally enforceable that the UK takes action to reverse the climate and ecological crisis. Following the end of the COP26 summit, it is so important we continue with the momentum this has generated.”