Merton Council is keeping its options open after calls were made for it to declare a "climate emergency."

A petition started by St Helier woman Pippa Maslin has received more than 150 signatures and says that if action isn't taken soon, "the consequences will be devastating."

"A rising sea level will result in widespread flooding, coastal erosion, and the loss of coastlines," Dr Maslin, who is also the Green Party London Assembly candidate for Merton and Wandsworth, said.

"More droughts and more wildfires will lead to desertification.

"Irreversible damage to wildlife will be inevitable.

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"We will suffer large-scale water and food shortages.

"Public health emergencies and mass migration will become commonplace. And political and economic instability will ensue."

She asked that the council to declare a climate emergency and review its current carbon reduction plans in order to become carbon neutral by 2030 "and thereby help to limit global warming to 1.5°C."

Councillor Tobin Byers, the cabinet member for adult social care and health said steps have and will continue to be taken to address the issue.

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“The council is wholly aware of the threat posed by global warming and is working hard to mitigate our own carbon footprint as well as establishing policies and actions to reduce the impact of Merton as a whole.

"Our response is embedded in a range of policies and actions including those around transport, flood and water management, sustainable development, planning polices and our approach to energy.

"The planet faces an existential challenge and we agree that this is an emergency.

"We shall be considering our actions in support of the other authorities who have made a declaration.”

To view the petition, click here.