ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners from across Worcestershire have accused the county council of not responding properly to climate change.

Members of Extinction Rebellion’s Worcestershire say their concerns have not been fully listened to by councillors, whom they accuse of not taking climate change seriously enough.

In total, 17 Worcestershire residents have recently raised questions about climate change and biodiversity loss, and some have contacted Extinction Rebellion as a result of the poor response by the council.

Between July 2020 and March 2021, 54 questions were asked via Zoom at council meetings by the 17 Worcestershire residents, some of whom are still awaiting a response from the relevant councillor.

Questions covered many issues including active travel and car use on Worcestershire’s roads, carbon reduction, food and waste, flooding, education, renewable energy and why the council has not declared a climate emergency.

One resident, Pam McCarthy, of West Malvern, said: “Whilst I welcomed the council’s net zero carbon plan, I was disturbed because it focussed only on the tiny 1.5 per cent of our county’s carbon emissions arising from areas under the council’s direct control.

“Because of this lack of ambition I asked the council to focus on giving a lead on carbon reduction to residents and businesses across the whole county, as I believe there is support for the council to go much further. In response the councillor referred me to the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which has a county-wide focus on carbon reduction; but the LEP is not an accountable body in the way that the council is.

“Worcestershire County Council talks of monitoring its plans and reviewing them once a year.

“Given challenges presented by the climate crisis I believe the council must act more effectively and urgently to fulfil its leading strategic role.”

Dr Johnny Birks, of Extinction Rebellion Malvern, said “The responses from the council are very disappointing. We know that some councillors recognise the need to tell the truth and act now on the climate and ecological emergency, but regrettably their views don’t prevail at the moment.

“So, with elections due next month, we urge concerned residents to ask their local candidates to commit to urgent action on climate change if they are elected.”

Cllr Tony Miller did not respond to our request for comment.