Climate Change and Biodiversity Committee

Published: 25 July 2023

City Council Establishes Climate Change and Biodiversity Committee

Lichfield City Council established a Climate Change and Biodiversity Committee at its meeting of 24 July.

The Committee, an initiative of the controlling Labour Group, received cross-party support when discussed at the Council meeting. Councillor Rosemary Harvey-Coggins, the Council’s Deputy Leader, proposed the creation of the Committee and was elected as Chair. The Committee also includes members from the Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties.

Cllr Harvey Coggins said:

The continued burning of fossil fuels, intensively farming livestock, and deforestation are major contributing factors to the earth’s temperature rising, adding enormous amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

The effects of this are most devastating to those already marginalised by society. Women constitute 70% of the world’s poor and are more likely to look for income from industries that will be most affected by climate change, for example agriculture. And it is worth noting that in this crisis, forms of inequality work together. Black, migrant, old and disabled people will be disproportionally affected.

But there is hope. We are not at the point of no return. A change can be made by aiming towards net zero carbon emissions, by moving from a reliance on coal, oil and gas to renewable energy, and by increasing biodiversity to protect the landscape.’

The establishment of the Committee was seconded by the Leader of the City Council, Councillor Dave Robertson. Cllr Robertson said:

‘It's almost four years since the City Council declared a climate emergency but that was followed by very little real action to try and reduce carbon emissions across our city. I'm really proud that, after the change in control in May, the council has set up this committee to bring forward ideas about how we can make a difference on one of the biggest issue facing our community.’

When asked about the impact that a parish council committee could have on what is a worldwide problem, Cllr Harvey Coggins said:

‘The City Council is not too small to make a difference, there are several groups operating locally who are very small, but their impacts are significant. We wish to work with those groups and add to their efforts with our own. In turn, acting locally and including some of those most marginalised, will encourage others to act on their own initiative or contribute to the efforts of this Committee. The greatest threat to our climate is the belief that someone else will solve the crisis.’