Cheshire East has welcomed the government plan for a green industrial revolution, which supports the council’s ambitious target of being carbon neutral by 2025 and influencing carbon reduction across the borough.
The government’s plan sets out the approach that will be taken to ‘build back better’ – supporting green jobs and accelerating the national path to net zero carbon emissions. It brings together policies and significant new public investment to focus on ten priority areas aimed at tackling the climate emergency.
Among the ten points are plans to drive growth of low carbon hydrogen, accelerate the shift to zero emission vehicles, increase green public transport, cycling and walking and make buildings more energy efficient. The plan also details how the natural environment will be protected.
The council has already agreed a carbon neutral action plan and environment strategy, which clearly set out how Cheshire East can remain a green and sustainable place and highlight priority actions to reduce borough-wide emissions.
Councillor Nick Mannion, cabinet member with responsibility for environment and regeneration, said: “We are committed to taking action to tackle the climate emergency and welcome the plans the government has set out.
“The government plan complements our carbon neutral action plan, which focuses not only on how our 2025 carbon neutral target will be achieved, but also on how we will encourage all businesses, residents and organisations in our borough to reduce emissions.
“We are already responding to the green industrial revolution through training staff and members on carbon and climate change and are developing resources to support town and parish councils to respond to this challenge.
“Cheshire East is delivering innovative projects such as introducing green hydrogen into our refuse collection fleet, electrifying our highways vehicles and installing renewable energy onto our council buildings.
“We have planted 6,000 trees this year and have joined the Mersey Forest, which will help us to deliver significant increases in tree planting to absorb our carbon emissions.
“We are committed to taking actions that will have a positive impact on the environment and create opportunities to benefit our borough and will continue to make the required transformational changes to tackle the climate and environmental emergency.”
Councillor Quentin Abel, Cheshire East Council’s climate change champion, said: “The measures announced by the government are a welcome step in the right direction.
“The ambition and the desires are there. It is not yet world-leading by any measure but hopefully the government is beginning to understand the real importance of climate change and the environment to the whole of humanity.
“Words sadly are cheap. It will be the actions that make the difference.
“I note the recent government increases in the defence budget, which is of course important, particularly in relation to cyber threats. However, I would urge government to put an even greater spending emphasis on climate change and the environment, which is ultimately about the defence of humanity.
“If we use this opportunity properly, we as a nation will be better protected, happier and healthier.
“What we really need though is foresight, real planning for the future. Or that future will not involve us.”