South Ribble declares climate emergency

South Ribble Borough Council has declared a climate emergency and will become a carbon neutral region by 2030. The motion was approved at a full council meeting on Thursday.

The decision was made after councillors agreed that climate change poses an immediate danger to the health and well-being of its residents.

Councillor Ken Jones, who is chair of the licensing and public safety committee and member champion for air quality and who put forward the Notice of Motion, said: "The council sets a goal of rendering the borough carbon neutral by the year 2030. For avoidance of doubt, this goal means the borough shall produce no net carbon emissions by this date, taking into account of actions that have the effect of removing carbon from the environment.”

A Standing Working Group on the Climate Emergency will be created and funded through the council’s annual budgets. It will comprise an overall chair, chairs for each neighbourhood forum, representatives from each political group, an air quality lead, and further members where appropriate.

Initial goals include incorporating the council’s existing Air Quality Action Plan into its wider plans, devising and proposing further measures in pursuit of its goals, and reporting progress back to the full council at least four times per year.

Councillor Susan Jones, cabinet member for environment said, “It’s vital that we as a council do what we can to tackle the dangerous levels of pollution in our borough. We have a duty to all of our residents to ensure they can live happily and safely in South Ribble and this is just the start.

South Ribble sees daily the negative effects of poor air quality and increased carbon emissions.

“We have set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030 but we can’t do this alone. We all have a part to play and we need the help and support from all across the community; our businesses and our residents. Saving the environment is a responsibility for all of us and only by working together we can make a difference.”

Councillor Paul Foster (pictured), leader of South Ribble Borough Council, said: “This is a global issue and on a local scale South Ribble sees daily the negative effects of poor air quality and increased carbon emissions.

“I’m thrilled we as a council have declared this climate emergency. By doing so we can ensure that tackling dangerous carbon emissions are at the forefront of our agenda."