A climate emergency has been declared in Waltham Forest.

Following protests outside the town hall last week with more than 300 adults and children marching from schools around the borough, the council has decided to act.

At a full council meeting the council agreed to declare a climate emergency, committing Waltham Forest to launching a new Climate Change Strategy, establishing a Climate Change Commission to help shape the local response to this global challenge, and calling on the UK Government to provide the powers and resources to make local action on climate change easier.

A council spokesman said: “Imagine a world where our hedgerows, trees, and plants wither and die, where there is no birdsong, and where instead the air is thick with choking, noxious fumes.

“Sadly, this may soon be our reality – but we can still make a change if we take action now.”

In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report showing the truth about the effects of climate change.

The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there are only 11 years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5°C.

After that, a rise of even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, and poverty for hundreds of millions of people across the globe.

Local Extinction Rebellion protesters that marched on Waltham Forest town hall last week were calling for urgent action to tackle the effects of man-made global warming.

Extinction Rebellion is a national campaign group that is applying pressure on central Government to declare a climate emergency, tell the truth about the seriousness of climate change, move to an economy that is not dependent on fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2025.

This group protested for more than a week in central London over Easter to demand immediate action.

Last week, the Waltham Forest protestors delivered a petition to Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for the environment on the lawn of the town hall on Tuesday, April 23.

Cllr Loakes said: “We know how much our residents care about the environment and I’m proud to see so many stand up for their beliefs.

“Their hand-made signs and placards, many created by local children, show us some of the species at risk that may disappear very soon – unless we act now.

“We owe it to future generations to change the way we live today, before it is too late.”