Councilors in Thatcham are to complete a course on climate change following a vote in favor of carbon training.
A working group on finances and general objectives unanimously decided to give the green light to the course, delivered by Climate Guide, during a virtual meeting on January 24.
A financial stipend, from the Climate Emergencies Reserve, of £1,300 will go towards the course titled ‘Carbon Literacy Training for Elected Members and Senior Officers’.
Following a recommendation from the Council’s Environmental Task Force meeting on November 17, the course was proposed by its Chairman, Richard Foster (Lib Dem, Thatcham Colthrop & Crookham).
He encouraged advisors to take the course, on a topic that was highlighted during the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).
“Members will be aware that last year they will have followed COP26 and realized that it has barely reached the threshold of sustaining the debate on climate change, with a chance of achieving the goal that scientists say that we need to achieve to allow temperatures to rise above 1.5 degrees centigrade,” he said.
“But what it showed is that there is still a huge amount of importance to be given to people at the local level.
“I am in favor of this being presented to all advisers, reminding them of the obligations we have.”
Mr Foster said the course would win back the consciousness of those who are “fairly selfless”.
He added: “I am aware that we are facing budgetary problems, but unfortunately the planet does not stand still in the face of this, we must continue.”
Mr Foster’s proposal was backed by fellow Liberal Democrat Owen Jeffery (Thatcham Central) who said the course was a ‘worthwhile expense’.
He added: “Twenty years ago I didn’t understand the importance of the problems and I was in the group of those who thought that there was a lot of noise for very little.
“I finally got it and understood and got on board, knowing that we had to do something about climate change.
“Society changes because individuals become aware of something and make the decision to become aware of something and become recognizable and that’s when change happens across the world.”
The town’s deputy mayor, Jeff Brooks (Lib Dem, Thatcham West) stressed councilors were “all more than eager” to support climate change training.
He said: “All information, training and education on this subject is valid, so I support it.
“I have personally seen that every councilor on this council has a great understanding of this issue and is keen to mitigate anything the council is doing in terms of carbon production.
“I see no lack of appetite on the part of our advisers to get involved in solving this problem.”