A 'climate emergency' was declared in Sutton yesterday, as the Council voted to work towards carbon neutrality by 2030.

Cheers erupted in the full Council meeting as representatives went further than the Liberal Democrats' recommended 2045 target, officially recognising the need for a more ambitious goal.

The Council called on Government to provide greater powers and resources, enabling Sutton to accelerate its environmental work, and for the private sector to play its part.

Councillor Manuel Abellan, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood committee said: “Sutton, like the rest of the UK, is in a climate emergency that threatens our health, our planet and our children’s future.

"We need to take action now and call on all of our local partners in the public and private sectors, residents and campaign organisations to join us in this battle.

"We have ambitious plans to become London's most sustainable borough and meet our environmental responsibilities.

"But the stark reality is that we need urgent government action, more powers and resources to accelerate our work towards a carbon neutral Sutton”.

Around 50 Extinction Rebellion campaigners gathered outside Wallington boys’ grammar school, presenting a petition urging Councillors to commit to the 2030 goal, which they say is vitally necessary to avoid a "climate catastrophe" by global warming. Three spoke to councillors and a packed gallery.

The Lib Dems, who control the Council, sought to change the target to 2045 in a report accompanying the petition, claiming the later date is more practical and realistic.

A motion proposed by the Conservatives backing the earlier target was passed by 22 to 21, with three Lib Dem councillors voting against their party.

Speaking to the Council, Anna-Tina Jashapara, 18, of Wallington High School for Girls said: “I feel terrified for my future and the future of this planet yet many residents of Sutton are still not aware that this is an emergency.

"This declaration will make the reality clear.

"Many London boroughs have declared a climate emergency and set a date of 2030 for borough carbon neutrality."

Council leader Ruth Dombey said: "We are working hard to see how we can practically achieve our targets.

"Local councils can only do a small part to combat the problem - its ultimately about national issues.

"The Government has to provide the powers needed to enable us to strengthen our work."