St Albans has declared a 'climate emergency'.

Last week, St Albans District Council, led by the Liberal Democrats, unanimously passed a motion to recognise a climate emergency - a motion which was driven by a petition signed by 1,700 residents.

The petition asked the council to to do everything in its power to make the whole of St Albans district carbon neutral by 2030. The petition was presented by Catherine Ross, trustee of Sustainable St Albans, and Mimi Spiliopoulou, a youth member of activist group Extinction Rebellion.

The council motion was proposed by the council leader Cllr Chris White, responsible for climate and the environment, and seconded by Labour councillor Mal Pakenham. During the following debate, councillors spoke passionately about the urgent need to take action and for the council to provide the necessary budgets to deal with climate change.

Cllr White said: "We often debate problems here in this chamber, but this is not just a problem, it is an emergency. This is more than a declaration, and we have to do some serious work from now on in. We can’t save the planet in St Albans alone but, in common, with the many other councils around the country who have also recognised the emergency, we can do our bit and, in fact, we must do everything we can.

"There are immediate actions we can take, such as reducing single-use plastic right here in the council building. There are medium-term actions we can take, such as installing more electric charging points and, of course, longer-term actions including rewilding to increase biodiversity, which is incredibly important, and changing the council’s procurement and its fleet of vehicles.

"I am delighted that our motion received unanimous support, and this has shown that there are issues that can unite this council across the political divide. This is one of those issues where we must unite."