Climate campaigners across South Yorkshire have urged Sheffield City Council to take faster action, four years on from the declaration of a ‘climate emergency’.
The South Yorkshire Climate Alliance commemorated the fourth anniversary of the council’s acceptance of the climate crisis by presenting them with a petition calling for further action on Monday 20 February, saying: “More can, and must, be done.”
It continued: “Despite commissioning a number of important reports, actions have not been implemented at the scale and speed that is actually required.
“On our current path, Sheffield’s all-time ‘carbon budget’ will have been used by around 2027.”
An hour before the petition was presented, campaigners and activists met outside Sheffield Town Hall. Protesters included members of Extinction Rebellion, Greener Practice, Nature Recovery Sheffield, Sheffield Greenpeace, and Sheffield TUC.
Joan Miller, 68, a volunteer at the South Yorkshire Climate Alliance, said she wanted the council to ‘step up’.
She said: “They do lots of things and they are aware, and they train lots of staff, but we want more prominent leaders.
“They need to create the infrastructure in which we can participate”.
Ms Miller added: “Everybody has a role, every individual, every group.
“There is not enough shouting. This really is an emergency.”
Labour councillor, Minesh Parekh responded to the campaigners’ calls, and said: “We know that the climate and ecological emergency is the greatest threat we all face. We want to see a full mobilisation of the council to meet this threat.
“This is a challenge that can’t be solved by one political party, which is why we’ve established the cross-party working group to cohere efforts to tackle the climate crisis.”
Green councillor, Christine Gilligan drew attention to the action the council is currently taking, including the ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’ and ‘active travel incentives’.
But she said: “I will acknowledge here, climate change is the biggest challenge facing humanity. And all of us, including Sheffield City Council, have wasted a lot of time failing to act.”