COUNCILLORS have defended themselves after activists slammed them for a lack of action on climate change.

Activists wrote to Worcestershire County Council urging them to act to avoid a 'doomsday scenario' after councillors rejected calls to declare a climate emergency.

However, Councillor Tony Miller, cabinet member with responsibility for the environment, said the council was working hard.

He said: “We coordinated the development and launch of the Worcestershire LEP Energy Strategy last year, and we are working hard alongside our partners at the WLEP to reach our shared target of halving Worcestershire’s CO2 emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 with an aspiration of net zero by 2040. We continue to bid for funding and run a range of externally funded projects: free advice and grants for business energy efficiency and renewables, low and zero carbon product development, advice and grants for organisations and small businesses to enable biodiversity improvement across the county including tree planting.

“We will be launching a further grant programme for energy efficiency and renewables in Worcestershire public sector organisations to run until 2022.”

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The Council has signed up to the Government’s voluntary emissions reduction pledge committing to a minimum of 30 per cent reduction from 2009/10 levels of CO2 emissions by 2020/21.

But Green campaigners from Extinction Rebellion say the council's aim of being carbon neutral by 2050 is too slow.

They protested by bringing a letter for the county council to the Worcester News offices last weekend.

The letter said: “We can avoid this doomsday scenario if we act now - not by 2050. Over 230 councils in the United Kingdom have declared a climate emergency and recognised the need to act, and many have set ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 or earlier.

“It is time for Worcestershire County Council and its representative councillors to act with a sense of urgency and do everything in their power to reduce the county’s emissions.

It added: “We have not forgotten the County Council’s failure to act.”