ILKLEY Town Council has declared a climate emergency - with a pledge to do everything it can to make the town carbon neutral by 2030.

The emergency was declared at a meeting on Monday after Mayor Cllr Mark Stidworthy said the 2030 target would not be easy but the council should aspire to it.

The council will now revise policy criteria to take carbon reduction into account in all decision making processes. Among other moves it will also set up a drop-in climate emergency 'hub'.

In its declaration the town council says many Ilkley residents are demanding action on climate change.

It says: "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's special report on global warming of 1.5 degrees centigrade, published in the autumn of 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2 degree temperature rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5 degree centigrade rise but also told us that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees centigrade may still be possible with ambitious action.

"Council recognises that individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs leaderships at international, national and local level.

"Local councils should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. It is important that cities and towns commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible.

"To stay within the IPCC's estimated global carbon budget for a 1.5 degree centigrade limit, Ilkley can emit only a further 0.6 million tonnes of carbon from 2020, based on its population size, and needs to achieve a reduction of carbon emissions of 74 per cent by 2030, and 94 per cent by 2050."

The council resolved to declare a climate emergency and pledged to do everything within its power to make Ilkley carbon neutral by 2030.

It is also calling on the UK Government to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible, and it is planning to produce a climate action plan with local partners.

The climate emergency will now become a standing monthly business item for the full council agenda and progress will be reviewed with regular six-monthly reports.

Cllr Owen Wells, who is the chairman of the Friends of Ilkley Moor, stressed that Ilkley had one of the finest examples of carbon capture and storage in its peat bogs.

He said the group was hoping - through its own resources - to limit the draining of the moor to allow the bogs to thrive.

He stressed: "We have got to look not only at carbon emissions but carbon capture and storage."

He said there was no better way of doing that than the growth of peat bogs on the moor.