Council Leader shares area’s ambition to reach net zero at regional conference

Westmorland and Furness Council’s Leader, Councillor Jonathan Brook, spoke at a conference yesterday (29 November) in Liverpool sharing the council and wider Cumbria’s ambition in the drive to net zero.

The conference brought together political, business and academic leaders from across the North West with the aim to explore how together they can scale up and accelerate the transition to reach net zero in the North West of England.

Councillor Brook joined other speakers including Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and Mayor of Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, to discuss how, through local leadership and regional collaboration, the region can work together to build on solid foundations and innovate in order to reach net zero as quickly as possible.

Representing Cumbria on behalf of both Westmorland and Furness Council and Cumberland Council, Councillor Brook stated how Cumbria is in a strong position to scale up with opportunities across a wide range of net zero initiatives. These include Morecambe Net Zero, Sellafield, Borderlands Energy Investment Programme, the county’s wealth of natural capital as well as decarbonisation initiatives across the transport, hospitality and agricultural sectors.

The North West has been making great strides to become the UK’s first net zero region through decarbonising homes, buildings, industry and energy systems. However, a step change is now needed to accelerate that transition by encouraging and securing investment, creating more green jobs and building on innovation already underway.

This year Westmorland and Furness Council has taken significant steps towards a more sustainable future with the agreement on Part One of its ambitious Climate Action Plan as well as its Electric Vehicle Strategy. The plans outline the direction and intention of the council to address climate change and create a greener, healthier, more resilient Westmorland and Furness, with further plans in motion to develop a Biodiversity Strategy and Climate Adaptation Plan.

Councillor Jonathan Brook, Leader of Westmorland and Furness Council, said:

“As a council, we are making climate change a high priority. We have an ambition to provide leadership on climate change and in local nature recovery, working to ensure that the council is carbon net zero as soon as possible and that the area it serves is carbon net zero by 2037.

“We are fortunate in Cumbria to have many partners such as the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, both National Parks, the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership and Cumbria Action for Sustainability, working to tackle the climate and nature emergencies, and both new council authorities are committed to working collaboratively with them to deliver shared outcomes and ambition for the county.

“Together we are ambitious for the future. Becoming net zero creates a sustainable, forward-looking economy, reduced energy costs and greater energy security, a high-quality environment and better quality of life, as well as improved health and wellbeing – for this generation and for future generations to come.”

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