Harrow Council became the latest authority to officially declare a climate emergency, despite concerns from the Conservative opposition that its definition needed “beefing up”.

It passed a motion last night (July 18), noting that it will aim to help make the borough carbon neutral by 2030.

The council also called on the Government to provide more support and vowed to work with outside bodies to improve the area’s environment.

But the borough’s Conservative Group put forward a series of amendments to the motion, including developing a “clearer” process on how the council will achieve its aims.

Cllr Paul Osborn, leader of Harrow Conservatives, suggested that the current administration had “jumped on the bandwagon” following recent climate change protests.

He said his group’s amendments were “positive and helpful” when it comes to dealing with the environment.

They included “beefing up” the details of the proposed ‘working group’, such as appointing the council leader as chairman, involving the council’s chief executive and monthly meetings.

He added that 2050 would be a more suitable target date for carbon neutrality, with his deputy leader, Cllr Marilyn Ashton, describing this as “more realistic”.

“I think our amendments are very reasonable – we’re all worried for our children, our grandchildren and the future of this planet,” she said.

But their suggestions were rejected by the majority Labour council, which stood by its original definitions.

Cllr Sue Anderson, who brought the motion, said: “This is a really serious issue – man-made climate change is a fact.

“In our own way we can all do something about it and we, as a council, have a climate change strategy in place.

“It is something we have to get to grips with if we want to see a better future.”

She was supported by Cllr Kareema Marikar, who said it was “important not to be left behind” and there is limited time to act before there is “permanent damage” to the planet.

Before the debate, Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, described the Government’s approach to climate change as “shocking”.

The motion calls on the Government to “provide the necessary powers and resources to make local action on climate change easier”.

This was removed as part of the Conservative amendments while an acknowledgement that both leading parties have “led the world in reducing greenhouse gases” was added.

Tory councillor Norman Stevenson said it was wrong to accuse the current Government of inaction.

He said it has been “accoladed” for its efforts, particularly around its approach to improving recycling across the country.