A programme of actions to mitigate the impact of climate change is now underway in Knowsley following the declaration of a climate emergency by councillors in the borough.
At the council meeting on Wednesday, 29 January 2020, Knowsley councillors agreed to make the official declaration, in response to current and predicted levels of global warming and the need to take immediate, local and significant action.
Ambitious targets to tackle climate change
In making the Declaration of a Climate Emergency in Knowsley, councillors have agreed that the council will 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. Councillors have also committed to taking advice and considering the recommendations from the Carbon Trust, the Friends of the Earth and the Association of Public Service Excellence to inform the development of an action plan. It is intended to implement those actions as soon as possible to achieve, where possible, net zero before 2040.
Key themes of Knowsley’s action plan will include:
Protecting and enhancing public parks and green spaces – this will include significant tree planting and providing more environmental education. It may also include the creation of additional allotment plots, production of biofuels and the installation of sustainable urban drainage schemes.
Reducing emissions from the council’s fleet of vehicles – Increasing the use of electric vehicles with the aim of ultimately replacing all the fleet with electric and/or hydrogen vehicles.
Reducing energy and water use from council buildings – Existing council buildings will be made more efficient, inefficient unneeded buildings will be demolished, new council buildings will be built with efficiency in mind.
Reducing emissions from waste – Making it easier than ever to recycle with more recycling points in the borough, ensuring people understand how to recycle correctly.
Changing behaviour – Establishing a new Climate Change Scrutiny Committee and implementing a Climate Change Champions programme to oversee progress towards the council’s goals, identifying any issues along the way.
Working with partners on a regional, national and international level – Together with the Liverpool City Region, the council will lobby Government for support to help local communities address climate change. At a Knowsley level the council will work with stakeholders including businesses, housing providers, environmental organisations and community groups to help them reduce carbon emissions, too.