Pendle Borough Council is among three local authorities in England and Wales to have come bottom in a league table of climate friendly councils.
And officials at the council have declared a climate emergency and pledged to tackle the environmental crisis affecting everyone locally, nationally and globally.
Wiltshire was named the most climate-friendly council in England and Wales, according to research by Friends of the Earth that has assessed local authorities’ energy, transport and recycling plans. It scored 92% in the climate change league table and was closely followed by the Isle of Wight, Northumberland, Somerset West and Taunton, Basingstoke and Deane, and Camden in London.
Pendle is alongside Ribble Valley Borough Council and Spelthorne in Surrey, scoring only 40%.
Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth’s chief executive, said: “All local authorities, even the best performing, need to ramp up what they are doing. We are facing a climate and ecological emergency that threatens our existence and the natural word. If we want to change things for the better, we have to start at home.”
Pendle Borough Council has major plans to tackle the effects of climate change including changing their entire fleet of 44 vehicles including bin wagons and street sweepers, with every vehicle giving off the lowest emissions possible, fitting a number of buildings with solar panels, reducing their carbon emissions by 5% and working with their energy suppliers to ensure they use renewable sources.
At a full council meeting in July, councillors declared a climate emergency and a working group met for the first time last week.
Coun. Tony Greaves, chairman of the Working Group, said: “Urgent action is needed to tackle global warming and the effects of climate change. Pendle on its own can’t solve the problems of the world, but we all have to do what we can so we’re taking the lead in Pendle on the climate emergency. Climate change should not be seen as someone else’s problem – it’s something we all have a responsibility to act on.”
The council is inviting local organisations, with an interest in climate change issues, to a meeting to discuss what can be done locally. It will focus on what they’re doing, what the council is doing and how they can work together to contribute to creating a sustainable future. The meeting is at Nelson Town Hall on November 14th at 7pm.
Any organisation interested in attending should book their place (one place per organisation) by e-mailing Jane Watson, Head of Democratic Services, by October 31st on firstname.lastname@example.org
Coun. Greaves added: “We need to take stock of where we are now and where we need to be. Work on that has already begun, but in order for us to make a difference we need to come together to work towards this common goal. The task is enormous, but to safeguard our planet, it’s necessary!”