CPRE Surrey has welcomed the vote by Mole Valley District Council to declare a ‘Climate Emergency’. CPRE said Mole Valley councillors were “right to recognise the urgency of tackling climate change” and must now work with other local authorities across Surrey to put in place more effective environmental protection policies.
CPRE Surrey Branch Director Andy Smith said: “We welcome Mole Valley Council’s decision to declare a Climate Emergency in the district. We really are at the emergency stage and the time for talking is over, the time for action is now. Let’s hope other local authorities around Surrey follow Mole Valley’s example. In particular, Surrey’s councils need to stand together against any expansion of Gatwick or Heathrow airports and any increase in flights over Surrey. Aviation is one of the major sources of carbon emissions leading to climate change.”
He added: “It is important, though, that councils realise the link between climate change mitigation and the protection of our green spaces and countryside. Soils, trees and vegetation absorb carbon and also absorb flood water, so it’s essential that we protect our green spaces in order to reduce the impact of climate change on our environment. We should be keeping our Green Belt green and not giving up precious countryside for development.
“CPRE looks to Mole Valley and other local authorities in Surrey to resist the pressure to build on the Green Belt. Some of these councils have already offered up Green Belt land for housing – this must stop now. There is no point having strategies on Climate Change if you are not going to defend your Green Belt. The two go together.”