WELSH Labour Councillors have today criticised the Carmarthenshire Council’s Net Zero Carbon Plan as ‘not worth the carbon it’s written on’.
A year on from the unanimous declaration of a Climate Emergency by Carmarthenshire Councillors, there was a heated debate on how the Authority should proceed going forward.
Whilst the Labour Councillors acknowledged that the plan was a start of the process, with the document being a live paper open to change, criticism were raised that much of the content of the report focused on past achievements and proposals that had already been agreed.
The meeting saw twenty one questions fielded from members of the public and Extinction Rebellion activists, who sought to probe the Council’s attitude to the emergency declaration and their actions to date.
Speaking in the Council Chamber, Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Rob James stated “Just to remind Members of our motion last year – ‘to develop a clear plan for a route towards being net zero carbon within twelve months.’
“This is not a clear plan, its twenty pages of can kicking and backslapping. With the report, which has taken twelve months to draft, asking for another twelve months to develop appropriate targets.
“The report does highlight some of our achievements to date in this area and I am proud of the record of the last Labour and Independent coalition that developed the model for the first Passivhaus education facility in Wales, were the first authority in Wales to have electric vehicles, just to name a few achievements.
“However, these are things we have achieved. Much of the report are things that we have completed or are committed to. I see very little extra effort to tackle this emergency.
“It is becoming increasingly obvious that the speed in which we are travelling to ensure that we safeguard Carmarthenshire from a climate catastrophe is nowhere near quick enough. We need a more ambitious plan with sufficient officers dedicated to this area and a capital budget to make the necessary investments. This plan is merely paying lip service to the climate change activists.
“If Plaid Councillors care about the local environment, I hope they will support our plans to introduce more school buses and invest in electric buses next month.”
Llangennech Councillor Gary Jones held up a map from the Council’s draft Local Development Plan during the debate to highlight that there were proposals to destroy green land with large scale housing developments across the County, suggesting that the administration’s net zero carbon plan does not match their other actions.
Carmarthenshire Labour Councillors after the meeting joined the people’s assembly in Carmarthen to discuss ways forward on this area, and have stated that they will continue to press for a more ambitious plan to meet the net zero carbon target for 2030.