A crucial event where leaders will consider Lancashire’s next steps towards a greener future is taking place on Thursday 10 March.
The first Lancashire Climate Summit, which will be held at County Hall, Preston, will see local organisations get together to consider ideas that will help Lancashire to reach net zero carbon emissions and adapt to the changing climate.
Senior leaders from Lancashire County Council, district and unitary councils, the Environment Agency and other local organisations will come together for the event.
Issues that will be considered include:
- new local research that will form a basis for future plans
- actions to reduce emissions from housing, transport and businesses
- working with the natural environment to tackle climate change
- adapting to the impacts of climate change
Following the summit, the county council and its partners will accelerate joint action to get Lancashire to net zero. This will include preparing a climate change action plan later in 2022.
County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “Climate change is an international emergency and keeping the rise in global temperature below 1.5oC is the biggest challenge we face.
“We’ve seen the effects of climate change here in Lancashire, with increased flooding and major moorland fires in recent years. We must act now to prevent further damage to our environment.
“We’ve already taken huge steps forward with improvements including converting 152,000 streetlights to LEDs, which has cut carbon emissions by 86,400 tonnes, and planting 149,000 trees, capturing 37,000 tonnes of carbon over the last decade.
“Our next aim is getting to net zero, where any remaining carbon we produce is removed by natural processes. We need to consider our new research and look at all options to lower carbon emissions and support nature to get to this point.
“The Lancashire Climate Summit is where we will build on the good joint work we’ve already started, consider the findings of our latest research, and begin to map out our way to get to net zero as quickly as possible.”
Other action the county council and its partners have taken includes:
- installing 150 electric vehicle charging points across Lancashire
- installing energy saving measures in county council buildings, which have reduced carbon emissions by 23% since 2017
- restoring 755 hectares of peatlands in the Forest of Bowland over the last decade
- Changing highways repair processes to recycle materials on-site when work takes place, saving 1,139 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2020
Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said: “Lancashire is sadly all too familiar with climate impacts like floods and storms so it is great that the climate summit is looking for ways to accelerate the county towards net zero carbon emissions and climate resilience.
“The Environment Agency is here to work in partnership with communities in Lancashire to help achieve these goals. We are building flood protection here, trialling innovative finance to deliver environmental improvements, and using regulation to support local businesses to make choices that keep them ahead of both the competition and the climate.”
For more information about joint activities to tackle climate change in Lancashire, visit our climate change webpage.