Carbon neutral plan for Wakefield is given go-ahead despite queries

Nadeem Ahmed.
Nadeem Ahmed.

Wakefield Council’s carbon neutral plan has received cross party support, despite the leader of the opposition suggesting it will make no impact without international action.

Conservative group leader Nadeem Ahmed told a full council meeting that he supported the authority’s climate emergency “from a moral standpoint”, but claimed it would be ineffective while other nations continue to pump fumes into the atmosphere.

The Labour-led council has made climate change its number one issue, and created a cabinet post specifically for it this week.

New deputy leader Jack Hemingway is in charge of that portfolio.

Coun Hemingway described Coun Ahmed’s remarks as “disappointing”, later adding that the policy would make Wakefield a “better place to live”.

Speaking at the last full council meeting of 2019, Coun Ahmed said: “I don’t want to put a dampener on climate change.

“I know it’s become a buzzword but people need to do some research and see what climate change actually means.

“What contribution does it make when I take my recycling out, when India, Pakistan and China between them contribute something like 25 per cent of the world’s carbon, with three billion people between them?

“But the reality is there’s countries out there much bigger than us. I know we like to think of ourselves as big, but we’re a small country with a very, very small carbon footprint.

Several Labour councillors said they agreed with Coun Ahmed’s point, but offered their full support to the plan, which was passed unanimously.