Home Knowsley Acts on Climate Tackling the climate emergency in Knowsley

Tackling the climate emergency in Knowsley

by Nicola Appleton

Knowsley Council is taking action in the battle against global warming by announcing plans to tackle climate change in the borough.

Cabinet will be asked this week to approve the council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan which aims to reduce carbon emissions from the Council’s estate and services to net zero by 2040.

The plan includes major schemes to achieve further reductions, including:

  • A £5m scheme to replace almost 20,000 streetlights with low energy LED lighting
  • Planting 3,000 trees following an investment of £1.4m from the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, with additional trees to be planted under the Trees for Climate Scheme
  • Ensuring that carbon reduction and sustainable energy generation will be featured in the proposed new council headquarters in Huyton
  • Radical changes to ensure that action on carbon reduction is embedded across the Council, including a review of policies and strategies, carbon literacy training for staff and Elected Members, and addressing climate change in service business plans and the Council’s decision-making process
  • Developing business cases for additional schemes such as replacing the Council’s fleet vehicles.

A separate Knowsley Borough Climate Emergency Action Plan will be developed to reduce carbon emissions across the borough by working in partnership with local businesses and organisations and the wider community.

In January, Knowsley Council made a Declaration of a Climate Emergency, recognising that we have entered a worldwide climate emergency and action taken locally can make a significant difference. Councillors pledged that the council would aim to reduce emissions from its own estate and services to net zero by 2040 – a full ten years before the Government’s own target.

Since declaring a climate emergency the council has established a cross party Climate Emergency Scrutiny Committee to research the policies, projects and potential investments needed to support this agenda.

In 2010, the Council developed a Carbon Management Plan aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 22% across its estate and services by 2016. This target has been exceeded with a 36% reduction achieved following the introduction of a number of ‘green’ schemes including fitting solar panels to the Huyton Municipal Annex, use of LED lighting in Huyton multi-storey car park, a council fleet fuel management plan and “Smarter Driver” training.

However, the Council recognises, there is plenty more to do and once approved, the plan will be delivered, and progress will be monitored and overseen by the Climate Emergency Scrutiny Committee. An Annual Progress Report will be produced and submitted to Cabinet.

Cllr Shelley Powell, who proposed the Notice of Motion to formally declare a Climate Emergency in Knowsley earlier this year, said:

“It may sound alarming, but to formally acknowledge the challenge facing the climate as an ‘emergency’ is an important statement. It says we recognise and understand the scale and urgency of this challenge – and most importantly we are going to take robust, immediate and local action to address it.

 

“I’m delighted to see that we have made some great progress in achieving – and even exceeding – our carbon emission reduction targets in recent years. However, we still have work to do and this plan is a vital step in ensuring we achieve our goal to reduce emissions from our own buildings and services to net zero by 2040.”

For further information, please contact Megan Bennett, Knowsley Council’s Climate Emergency Officer, email megan.bennett@knowsley.gov.uk