Enfield Council pledged to slash its greenhouse gas emissions as it became the latest local authority to declare a climate emergency.

The council will cut its investments in fossil fuel firms and widen its sustainability efforts as part of a plan to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.

It has pledged to use ‘ethical procurement’ to make its supply chain carbon neutral and will only use environmentally friendly products whenever possible.

The council has set up a special ‘Climate Change Task Force’ to help it achieve these goals.

Councillors declared a climate emergency at Wednesday’s (July 10) full council meeting as members of pressure group Extinction Rebellion staged a demonstration outside the Civic Centre.

Council leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan said: “Enfield Council should be doing the best for the borough. We have committed to (zero by) 2030, if not sooner.

“It would be morally wrong for us, knowing the impact of climate change on our planet and in Enfield, if we continued to invest in companies that do not contribute to decarbonising society.

“That’s why, in the report, it is stated that we should divest to eliminate our holdings in fossil fuel companies.”

But members of the Conservative Group refused to back the climate emergency motion and criticised the council’s response for its apparent lack of detail.

Conservative leader Cllr Joanne Laban pointed out that the motion, which was proposed by Cllr Vicki Pite, had been on the agenda since January.

She claimed the administration had only acted due to pressure from Extinction Rebellion and the media.

Cllr Laban said: “It is an extremely weak report. What are we proposing to do?

“In the Local Plan, you propose to build on the green belt. It helps to reduce pollution, and this council wants to build all over it.

“You could have upped your target on trees. This report could have been a lot better than it is.”

Other Conservative councillors criticised the council’s plans to charge for garden waste collections, claiming it would lead to people burning their waste instead.

Cllr Alessandro Georgiou claimed “mass migration” was partly to blame for rising carbon emissions, while Cllr Edward Smith welcomed the report but said the UK’s emissions were “negligible” compared to countries like China.

But Labour councillors said the issue should not be party political and criticised the Conservatives for failing to back the motion.

Cllr Tolga Aramaz said: “How interesting is it that members with an interest in BP seem to not want to vote for the climate emergency report?

“The only thing we are asking for is the survival of the planet and human race.

“The truth of the matter is, capitalism creates overproduction and has no regard for the environment. We must have radical change now or diminish.”

Cllr Ergin Erbil added: “Thirty years of neoliberal policies have destroyed our planet – 30 years of neoliberalism has tried to see infinite growth in a finite world. We must provide an alternative – a green new deal.

“Most of us on this side worry about the increase in asthma rates in children that live in Edmonton, whereas most of the people on the other side of the chamber worry about shares and profits.”

The council’s action comes amid growing concern over the rate of global warming.

A UN report published in published in 2018 warned the risk of catastrophic climate change – including extreme heat, drought, flooding and climate-related poverty – would rise significantly unless global warming was limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Cllr Pite’s climate emergency motion and the council’s response were passed with the backing of Labour councillors, while the Conservatives abstained on both items.