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Climate Emergency Action Plan takes shape

The first of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee meetings will take place this week and one of the items up for discussion is the council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan.

Environment and Climate Emergency was declared by Wirral with cross-party support on 15 July 2019. Since then, an action plan, drawn up by the council, details how it can contribute to the changes that need to be made, some of which have already started, to address the climate crisis.

The council set out the first stage of the action plan in September 2019. Since then the council has reached some key milestones including: the endorsement of the Cool 2 climate strategy for Wirral; approval of a new 10 year strategy for managing trees and woodland; and reaching 10,000 streetlights and counting with LED lanterns to create a more environmentally friendly streetlighting network.

The action plan, to be discussed on Thursday 22 October, acknowledges that global warming needs to be stopped and seeks to eliminate climate damaging pollution – aiming for the council’s carbon emissions to reach net zero by 2030.

Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee at Wirral Council, said:

“The council’s Environment and Climate Emergency Action Plan captures the work that we, as a council, can do as the world continues the fight against biodiversity loss and the climate crisis.

“Whilst it sets some ambitious goals, including our target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030 – earlier than both the targets set by the Cool Wirral Partnership (2041) and the government (2050) – it is a path that we must follow to protect our environment.

“This plan will ensure the council leads by example in encouraging everyone to play their part in the fight against the environment and climate emergency.”

The plans sets out that to reach net zero pollution: the energy use for our buildings, transport and any events will be reduced; increased tree planting will help to increase carbon capture; active travel will continue to be a priority; reducing, reusing and recycling waste will be more important than ever.

The plan also commits the council to continue to invest in adaptation measures such as flood walls. These will be needed to help protect the borough against some of the irreversible impacts of climate change, which are already unavoidable.

To find out more about the Climate Emergency Action plan, watch the video.

The meeting on Thursday 22 October at 6pm, is the first of this committee since the council changed to a Committee System of governance in September 2020.

The action plan forms the council’s response to the climate crisis as well as the council’s contribution to the wider Wirral Cool 2 climate strategy. This strategy was developed by the Cool Wirral partnership and then endorsed by the council earlier this year.

To find out more about this strategy and to create your own action plan, visit the council’s website www.wirral.gov.uk/climatestrategy