A PETITION demanding the council declares a climate emergency in Wokingham has started to gain attention.

Extinction Rebellion has been making national headlines in the last week and now it seems the environmental group’s influence has extended to Wokingham after a representative from the group set up the petition.

This comes after neighbouring authority Reading Borough Council (RBC) declared a climate emergency in February.

A description attached to the petition read: “Humans have caused irreversible climate change to Planet Earth; the impact of this is already being felt around the world.

“Last September we were warned by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) that we have twelve years left to limit this damage. If we do not, our world will most likely face runaway Global Warming and full Climate Breakdown.

“Our current plans and actions are not enough. We must act now, decisively and radically, to reduce our carbon footprint.

“Individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation and infrastructure, to make low-carbon living easier and the new norm.

“City Councils around the world are responding by declaring a Climate Emergency and committing resources to address this emergency.

“This petition urges Wokingham Borough Council to do the same.”

The petition currently has 24 signatures but the group hopes to reach 1,500 by the time it closes on Thursday, June 13.

If it does reach 1,500 signatures before the close date, councillors will be forced to debate the topic at a full council meeting.

Last month the News reported councillors’ calls for more action to tackle air pollution after representative for Twyford, Cllr John Jarvis, suggested the problem was so bad in his ward residents had ambulances called out for them because of the respiratory problems they have suffered walking down the high street.

In July 2018 the News revealed poor air quality led to 11 preventable deaths per 100,000 people in Wokingham in 2015.

A report from July 2018 outlined 5.6 per cent of all deaths in the borough came from causes related to air pollution.

West Berkshire Council is set to debate action on climate change after a petition demanding the authority declares a climate emergency surpassed 1,600 signatures.

No date has been set for West Berkshire's debate yet but the petition is the largest in the council's history. 

You can view the petition here