On 11 July 2019 we declared a Climate Emergency. This recognises the severe impacts of climate breakdown and acknowledges the urgent need to act to prevent further damage.
We have committed to reduce our carbon emissions by at least 78% by 2035, in line with the UK Government target. We will then reach net zero emissions by 2050.
What does net zero mean?
Net zero emissions means achieving a balance of reducing emissions from our activities, alongside removing emissions from the atmosphere.
Technologies such as solar panels allow us to reduce emissions to zero where possible.
However, some areas of technology are limited and cannot reduce all emissions completely. To account for these leftover emissions, we need to actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, through activities such as tree planting.
We aim to lead by example in reducing the emissions we have direct control over. The Wyre Council Resolution Climate Emergency Declaration explains how we plan to reduce emissions within the council itself.
However, our council emissions account for only 1% of emissions within Wyre.
We therefore commit to support and work with all other relevant agencies to achieve net zero emissions for Wyre borough. Our wider borough action plan pdf details how we plan to do this.
Wyre Council Resolution Climate Emergency Declaration
At the meeting of Wyre Council on 11 July 2019, it was agreed:
- That impacts of climate breakdown are already causing serious damage around the world.
- That the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees centigrade, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018: describes the enormous harm that a 2°C average rise in global temperatures is likely to cause compared with a 1.5C rise, and confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society and the private sector
- That all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to act, and we congratulate Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) on being the first country to take a lead on this issue
- That strong policies to cut emissions also have associated health, wellbeing and economic benefits; and
- That, recognising this, a growing number of UK local authorities have already passed 'Climate Emergency' motions and this Council tonight declares a Climate Emergency.
The Council therefore commits to:
- Make the Council’s activities net-zero carbon by 2050;
- Achieve 100% clean energy across the Council’s full range of functions by 2050;
- Ensure that all strategic decisions, budgets and approaches to planning decisions are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2050 as far as Planning Laws allow it;
- Support and work with all other relevant agencies towards making the entire Wyre area zero carbon within the same timescale;
- Ensure the Council take responsibility for reducing, as rapidly as possible, the carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities, ensuring that any recommendations are fully costed and that the Executive and Scrutiny functions review council activities taking account of production and consumption emissions and produce an action plan within 12 months, together with budget actions and a measured baseline;
- Where necessary officer reports to Cabinet and Full Council contain impact assessments on Climate Change, including presenting alternative approaches which reduce carbon emissions where possible;
- Continue its already agreed policy to report to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee its progress towards a zero carbon emissions target;
- Work with, influence and inspire partners across Wyre, Lancashire and the North West to help deliver this goal through all relevant strategies, plans and shared resources by developing a series of meetings, events and partner workshops;
- Request that the Council and partners, take steps to proactively include young people in the process, ensuring that they have a voice in shaping the future;
- Continue its policy of having officers and departmental groups work on a climate change action plan which will report back to Council on a regular basis as to its progress towards a target of zero emissions by 2050;
- Request an annual investment report from our pensions administrators Lancashire County Council (LCC) on the level of investment in the fossil fuel industry, such report to go to Cabinet who will make any appropriate observations thereon reflecting our zero carbon emissions target of 2050;
- Ensuring that all reports in preparation for the 2020/2021 budget cycle and investment strategy will take into account the financial implications of the actions the council will take to address this emergency;
- Request the UK Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible, and ask local MPs to do likewise;
- Continue to consider other actions within the Council’s remit that could be implemented, including (but not restricted to): renewable energy generation and storage, providing electric vehicle infrastructure and encouraging alternatives to private car use, increasing the efficiency of all buildings, including housing in particular to address fuel poverty; proactively using local planning powers to accelerate the delivery of net zero carbon new developments and communities, coordinating a series of information and training events to raise awareness and share good practice;
- The Council should if possible not allow its land to be used for anything that would result in the Council not meeting the target of net zero emissions by 2050; and
- Monitor the advice of the Local Government Association, (and where possible implement) as to what steps can be taken quickly to have the greatest possible impact on air quality, a modal shift away from private cars, increased take up on public transport, and ensure that every aspect of the Councils activities are sighted on the need to preserve Wyre’s ecological and environmental heritage.
- Use trees to offset carbon emissions arising from the Council’s activities and therefore to instruct our officers to report back on costings for the planting of trees and the maintenance of woodlands in the Borough, which is a matter of urgency because we need to start planting trees now.