Councillors from across the political spectrum in Richmond have joined forces to declare a climate emergency in the borough.

The move comes as a growing number of UK councils have adopted climate emergencies into their policy in response to recent climate change activism.

Cllr Richard Bennett, Leader of the Green Party group, put forward the motion at the recent full council meeting on July 9.

Cllr Julia Neden-Watts, vice chair of Richmond Council’s environment, sustainability, culture and sport committee said: “Climate change and the potentially extreme weather events associated with it will affect everyone.

“And it’s my view that, when we detect a problem, when it becomes undeniable, we must recognise it, describe it, and form a strategy to tackle it, which we must then implement."

The Climate Change Strategy sets out five prioritised issues which will outline exactly how the Council will reduce emissions from its own estate and operations, reduce energy consumption and emissions.

It will start promoting energy efficiency measures, sustainable construction, renewable energy sources, and behaviour change.

Cllr Martin Elengorn, Chair of Richmond Council's environment, sustainability, culture and sport committe, said: "Climate Change is the biggest challenge society faces. No community is exempt from its effects and it is right that the Council takes urgent steps to play its part in tackling this most pressing of issues.

"Any expansion of airports (such as the third runway at Heathrow) or increase in air travel accelerates climate change yet the Government excludes aviation from playing its part in reducing carbon emissions.

"This is completely unacceptable and we will make this point as strongly as we can."

Emissions from transport will also be reduced and replaced with sustainable transport and will also seek to reduce car travel and traffic congestion by encouraging behavioural change.

Resource consumption will also be reviewed and the council will begin to increase recycling in order to reduce waste and supporting council services.

Residents and businesses will be expected to adapt to the impacts of climate change.