Climate change is the biggest threat we face. It has the power and intensity to be far more disruptive and damaging to the way we live our lives than the Coronavirus pandemic, so we must act now to mitigate the damage to the planet that our species has already caused.
The science is clear, in Cheshire West the impact of global climate change poses a significant and existential threat to local communities and businesses.
Research commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council has set out the urgency required to reduce the borough’s CO2 emissions to net zero by 2045 (or earlier) in order to avoid irreversible damage to the environment, the economy and our quality of life.
Industrial emissions in our Borough account for 64% of our total carbon footprint. Along with emissions from transport, residential homes and other sources our area has the fifth highest total emissions and the fourteenth highest emissions per head in the country.
To address this challenge Labour will take action in Cheshire West to improve energy efficiency in new and existing homes, improve public transport and active travel options to encourage residents to use low carbon transport modes, and work with industry to reduce energy demand sustainably.
What will Labour do?
As leaders of Cheshire West and Chester Council and in partnership with Labour MPs in our area, Labour will:
- Lead by example and reduce the carbon footprint of the Council through energy efficiency, waste management and moving to low carbon vehicles.
- Work with the Local Enterprise Partnership and other sub-regional partners to deliver a low-carbon industrial economy in Cheshire West and Chester.
- Improve sustainable transport and infrastructure including better public transport and investment in cycling and walking networks.
- Work with social landlords to improve energy efficiency in council housing and other social housing in the Borough, as well as trying to secure local and national funding for the retrofitting of private homes that are owner-occupied or rented.
- Review local planning policies to promote more sustainable new developments.
- Plant new forests and woodland, whilst increasing the coverage of green spaces for economic, social and environmental benefit.
- Look at new ways for the Council’s land holdings to be used to help reduce carbon and enable the sustainable use of our agricultural land.
- Deploy nature-based solutions to tackling climate change and improve local air quality.
- Implement a new Environmental Management Strategy, which includes a review of play parks and green spaces, alongside a new Wildflower and Grasslands strategy for improving biodiversity and creating green corridors.
- Use our new ‘award-winning’ in-house waste collection service to reduce waste and increase recycling in our borough.
- Bring parts of the local highway maintenance contract back ‘in house’ so that residents have a greater say over the management of the service and it is more responsive to their needs.