How To Declare a Climate Emergency

Here are the steps that were taken to declare a Climate and Nature Emergency in Chew Magna. If you would like to declare a Climate and Nature Emergency in your parish, please contact us at and we will send you the simple forms we used to declare a Climate and Nature Emergency and the terms and reference for that document.

One of our parishioners, now a member of the climate and nature working group, realised that what was needed to enthuse local people to take steps in the face of climate change was a local declaration of climate emergency.

2nd June 2019 – This parishioner spoke during the public participation at the PC meeting on this date, reading out a statement asking the PC to declare a climate emergency.

Whilst sympathetic to the aims, the PC understandably wanted to be sure that the whole parish was behind such a declaration. Mindful of the fact that every week now counts, the parishioner decided the quickest way to do that was to ask them, and took a petition round the village.

Two of the Parish Council members (now also members of the Climate and Nature Emergency Working Group) make some proposals during the month after the meeting on how the Parish Council should respond.

7th July – The parishioner presented the petition with 160 signatures in support of the parish making a Climate Emergency declaration. There were only 6 people who didn’t want to sign, which showed a considerable proportion of the parish were in support of such a step.

The Parish Council agreed to set up a working group to define what a Climate Emergency declaration means for the parish and how a working group should operate. They asked for volunteers to join the group. Three people volunteered and they were joined by two Parish Councillors. The initial working group was agreed consisting of parishioners Liz Brownlee, Jacky Morgan, Eileen O’Donnell, and Parish Councillors Andy Matthews and Nick Scholefield.

Members of the parish council and parishioners at the meeting also sign the petition taking it up to 180 signatures.

July to September, the working group started to work on the terms of reference and the declaration documents. These documents were adapted from the initial Climate Emergency documents produced by BANES, and adapted to be relevant to a village parish. (They are available on request for other parishes to use and adapt as relevant to them.) The group expands by one member, Pete McKendry, who was co-opted as Chair.

1st September 2019, the working group presented the documents and proposals to the Parish Council. 

During September, the working group fine-tuned the documents based on Parish Council feedback.

6th October 2019, the Parish Council fully supported the working group proposals and declared a climate emergency.

The working party has since expanded by two more members, parishioners David Hayhow and Liz Bagshaw.

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