Sarah Sharp, a city councillor from the Green Party, spoke at a West Sussex meeting on climate change in Horsham on Saturday, February 2.
She said: “There was pretty much universal approval that we should focus our efforts on encouraging our councils to declare a climate emergency.”
The next ‘big event’ Sarah said was planned to put pressure on West Sussex County Council would be on Friday, February 15, when a march and a ‘die-in’ – where people lay down as if dead – was to be held at County Hall in Chichester.
Sarah said: “To some, the urgency of the situation does warrant the die-ins and the more attention-grabbing actions. To others, the quiet but persistent questioning of the beliefs and attitudes of those people putting themselves forward for local council elections will be more appropriate and natural.”
Sarah said she told the meeting of the progress made since she put a motion about the ‘climate emergency’ on the agenda of the city council in December. She said: “It was decided that we had to postpone any decision about an emergency and the change to the Terms of Reference and the working group due to the fact that any decisions would have to be ratified by the full council that is due to meet next in April and this would be purdah (due to the election coming up in May).
“For many of us aware of the urgency of the climate crisis, the delay is extremely frustrating that we have to wait for the new administration after May to run with this and set up a working party.”
Sarah said it was ‘a start’ that the city council said it would encourage schools to take part in a climate change competition.
“I have also offered that Chichester should host one of the joint meetings of the SOS group (after May),” she said.
“I believe we all need to engage with the subject of climate change - each individual, each layer of council right up to the top.
“This is not a thing we just forget about because Trump or China or someone else isn’t doing much. We all have to act.
“My little action was to take the train to Horsham and to talk for three minutes.”