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'We must act' - council to plant more trees to lower high carbon emissions

PUBLISHED: 22:21 02 December 2019

A Norfolk council which refused to declare a climate emergency will encourage tree planting after being urged to prevent permanent damage and loss.  Photo: Andy Roberts

A Norfolk council which refused to declare a climate emergency will encourage tree planting after being urged to prevent permanent damage and loss. Photo: Andy Roberts

(c) copyright newzulu.com

A Norfolk council which refused to declare a climate emergency will encourage tree planting after being urged to prevent "permanent damage and loss".

A Norfolk council which refused to declare a climate emergency will encourage tree planting after being urged to prevent permanent damage and loss.  Photo: Denise BradleyA Norfolk council which refused to declare a climate emergency will encourage tree planting after being urged to prevent permanent damage and loss. Photo: Denise Bradley

West Norfolk Council (WNC) has agreed to support the county council in their aim to plant one million trees in the next five years, after a motion highlighted the area's carbon emissions were above the UK average.

King's Lynn and West Norfolk has eight tonnes of carbon emission per capita - compared to the UK average of 5.4 tonnes, and Norfolk's 5.7 tonnes per capita.

READ MORE: 'It was their choice' - councillor defends decision not to declare climate emergency

Sandra Squire, independent councillor for Terrington ward, said told the council West Norfolk had just 7pc of forestry land.

"Norfolk county council has pledged to plant one million trees over the next five years," she said.

"North Norfolk District Council have pledged to plant one tree for every resident over a period of four years. People need to breathe clean air in their homes."

She added the planet was "in a climate emergency" and said the UK economy needed to achieve "total decarbonisation" by 2030.

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The motion Mrs Shires put before a meeting of the full council on Thursday, November 28, stated: "This council acknowledges that trees are a vital resource in helping to combat climate change.

"Therefore this council agrees to plant the equivalent of one tree for every resident in the borough, spread over a period of four years, creating community woodlands, which will not only reduce our carbon impact but will benefit wildlife and provide valuable green space to improve the lives of residents in years to come."

READ MORE: 'It was their choice' - councillor defends decision not to declare climate emergency

Green councillor Michael de Whalley, who seconded the motion, added: "Tree cover restoration is the most effective climate solution we know of.

"Planting should aim to maximise carbon and wildlife value. In Norfolk, our best option is to grow native species in mixed, deciduous woodland. Woods and forests also reduce flood risk, promote tourism and human health and wellbeing. The natural world is our life-support system.

"We must act now to prevent permanent damage and loss."

Ian Devereux, cabinet member for environment, proposed an amendment to incorporate the tree planting plans into ongoing climate change proposals being drafted by cabinet.

Councillors voted in favour of both the amendment and the tree planting motion.

READ MORE: 'It was their choice' - councillor defends decision not to declare climate emergency

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