A climate emergency has been declared by Haringey Council amid growing fears that time is running out to prevent “catastrophic” global warming.

The council will step up efforts to make the borough carbon neutral by 2030 and lobby central government to ensure the local authority has the support it needs to meet the target.

Children from local schools warned of the dangers of climate change and urged councillors to take action at Monday’s (March 18) full council meeting.

Youngsters from Woodside High School in Wood Green told the meeting: “Declaring a climate emergency will be beneficial to our generation.

“People are being harmed already. Irreversible damage has been done, but it is not too late to make a difference.

“We are harming marine life – killing them with microplastics, which are increasingly going to end up in humans, causing health problems.

“We want the adults to make the right changes now. We urge you to take urgent action on climate change. We can make a difference locally, in Haringey.”

Their plea came after youngsters around the world took time off school to join ‘climate strikes’, calling on governments to do more to protect the environment.

Governments agreed to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in the so-called ‘Paris Agreement’ in 2015.

But the Labour motion to full council warned the world is “on track to overshoot” this target before 2050 – which could cause “enormous” harm to people all over the world.

Several other councils – including Bristol, Manchester, Brighton and Hove, and Stroud – have responded by declaring climate emergencies and pledging to put more resources into fighting climate change.

Haringey Council’s cabinet member for environment Cllr Kirsten Hearn told the meeting the United Nations had warned that the world had less than 12 years to stop “catastrophic climate change”.

She said: “We are witnessing extreme weather – floods, heatwaves, rising sea levels and pollution causing ill-health for millions.

“The world’s poorest, who have done least to contribute to the climate breakdown, are often most impacted.

“Children demand that we take action – and that is exactly what we in Labour-run Haringey are doing.”

The council has already cut carbon emissions by nearly a third between 2005 and 2016 – higher than the national average.

It has also invested £1.2 million in solar power generation and is developing a district heat network to provide low-carbon energy.

The Liberal Democrat Group put forward an amendment calling for at least 20 per cent of new housing developments’ energy to come from renewable sources.

It also called for all council buildings to be heated by a district energy network or 100 per cent renewable providers by 2020.

Cllr Bob Hare, Lib Dem member for Highgate, said: “Our amendment aims to put some targets into proposed changes to the local plan.

“It has been done elsewhere and could be done here. You want to be ambitious, and so do we.”

The amendment was voted down by Labour councillors, but the original motion to declare a climate emergency was carried unanimously.

A motion was also put forward by Liberal Democrat Cllr Tammy Palmer to improve air quality around schools.

It called for ‘school streets’ – where roads outside schools are closed to traffic at opening and closing times – or ‘no-idling zones’ – which prevent drivers from leaving their engines running – to be rolled out around every primary school in the borough by 2022.

Labour members voted against the motion but backed an amendment calling for a school street action plan to be brought to cabinet in March 2020.