Climate protestors called on the council to help save the planet by cutting car use and pulling its money out of fossil fuels firms.

Dozens of people attended a protest organised by pressure group Extinction Rebellion outside the Civic Centre on Wednesday (July 10), where councillors were due to declare a ‘climate emergency’.

They warned urgent action was needed to prevent catastrophic climate change and said the council could play an important role in cutting carbon emissions.

Clare Rogers, of campaign group Better Streets for Enfield, said: “We need to talk about transport – one of the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. This is something the council can act on.

“In Enfield, we have too many cars making too many journeys. Car ownership rates per household are increasing. We are going in the wrong direction.

“The council can close the rat runs, keep free traffic on the main roads and open up residential neighbourhoods to walking and cycling, like many other European cities.

“It can keep building safe spaces for walking and cycling. The more we prioritise people over cars, with safe crossings, wide pavements and wide cycle lanes, the more attractive and convenient active travel will be.”

Green Party member David Flint added: “The council should not be investing in fossil fuels – it should divest now.

“It should stop burning fossil fuels for electricity, it should be working to reduce car and van journeys by supporting low-traffic neighbourhoods across Enfield.

“We want our streets back. That is something the council can do – and it is not even expensive.”

Elaine Graham-Leigh, from Extinction Rebellion Enfield, claimed her campaign group’s protests had led the council to act.

She said: “The reason they are calling (a climate emergency) is because of us. Do not let anyone tell you protest does not work.

“This is the tiniest beginning. We need to be much more ambitious. The message of Extinction Rebellion is ‘business as usual is not going to cut it’.

“The point of the council declaring a climate emergency is to keep on putting pressure on the Tory Government to say, if you do not care about climate change and ordinary people, we are going to force you to care.”

Jason, another member of Extinction Rebellion Enfield, said the council’s decision to declare a climate emergency was “an important victory but a small one in a global war we must win”.

He added: “We are in a climate crisis. Even if we stopped emissions today, some scientists say there is more than three degrees of warming ‘baked into’ the system.

“The future of the human species is now in question.

“The message is, this is urgent. However, we still have some time left if we act now and act together. Extinction Rebellion is a movement that will act now and do something.”

Enfield Council declared a climate emergency and agreed to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 at the full council meeting that followed the demonstration.