Nottinghamshire County Council has said it will make efforts to become carbon neutral.
Labour, which is in opposition, proposed the motion on Thursday (May 16), calling for the council to commit to becoming completely carbon neutral.
However the Conservatives, who lead the council, amended the plans and said they planned to set a carbon neutral target at some point in the future.
It comes after Labour-run Nottingham City Council pledged to become carbon neutral by 2028 – the most ambitious target in the country.
At a meeting of the county council, Labour put forward a motion calling for the council to pledge to become carbon neutral.
But a Conservative amendment to the Labour plan said they would “work through the evidence base, with the intention of setting a carbon neutral target”.
They also pointed out a wide range of activities were already taking place to help reduce emissions.
This includes changing to more efficient street lights, which the council says has saved 14,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and saved the council £7.5 million since 2012.
They also say road improvements to reduce congestion have helped reduce air pollution.
Conservative councillor John Doddy, who represents Stapleford and Broxtowe Central, said: “This is not just a problem of interest to fish and animals, the air pollution is killing 40 to 60 thousand people a year in the UK. It’s killing them through lung cancer, it’s killing them through heart attacks, it’s killing them through cardiovascular disease.
“The problem is I’ve been a GP for 30 years, and I’ve never actually put pollution as the cause of death, so we don’t see even a quarter of the statistics properly recorded.
“So this is an important thing, it’s a global thing, but just as importantly, it’s a life and death thing.”
Cllr Jonathan Wheeler, for County Councillor for West Bridgford South said:
‘It is refreshing to see all Councillors from across the Council supporting the Councils Motion today to work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2028. The Council has made significant efforts to reduce our Carbon footprint, with initiatives such as installing LED lights in street lamps and investing in more cycle paths across the County, such as the one on Melton Road in West Bridgford. To achieve this we need residents and The Council alike to work together to change the way we work and love to help the environment and protect it for future generations
Liberal Democrat Stephen Carr represents Bramcote and Beeston North and said: “I’m disappointed this (motion) hasn’t gone through in its original format. This isn’t a time for fudging or arguments over wording. I feel as a council we can do much more. I don’t feel this motion goes nearly far enough.”
Independent councillor Maureen Dobson represents Collingham, and said: “Can we please have a date, can we please have a start time? Can we not just talk, and can we please just say this is what we are going to try to achieve by X?”
Labour’s John Peck, who brought the original motion and represents Sherwood Forest, said: “I do hope there will be cross-party support for this motion today.
“This is something far too important for any party political point scoring, so I do hope this is something we can all agree on, and work together on, because it’s something that affects the lives of all of us, and future generations, and it’s up to us to step up and take action before it’s too late.”