CLIMATE CHANGE: Commitment to tackle climate change
Council chiefs have reaffirmed their commitment to tackling climate change amid the ‘shocking scenes’ happening around the globe.
A major UN scientific report has said human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways.
The landmark study warns of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, as well as a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade.
Labour’s St Helens South and Whiston MP Marie Rimmer says the UN report confirms what scientists have been saying for a long time.
“Human action is driving climate change,” she said.
“Only this week we have seen images of Greece burning, and last year it was Australia. More must be done to protect our planet.
“The reality is that this is an international problem that requires an international solution.
“The British Government must work with nations across the world, especially China and the United States, to get this problem under control.
“COP26 is coming up later this year and I hope the Government uses it as more than just a publicity stunt.
“There needs to be real outcomes that will make a difference.
“Climate change will be the defining crisis of our time. The Government needs to treat it that way.”
Climate change is also among the key issues being monitored at the Town Hall.
Cllr Andy Bowden, St Helens Borough Council’s cabinet member for environment and transport, outlined the measures the authority is taking on the issue.
He said: “We note the seriousness of the UN report and the shocking scenes currently happening around the world, like wildfires, which are linked to this global issue.
“As a council we are committed to tackling climate change and are carrying out a number of projects and initiatives at a local level to help protect the environment.
“These will all be set out in our year one climate action plan that is due to be presented to our cabinet in November 2021.
“Some of our early actions include the establishment of a climate change commission for St Helens borough.
“The commission is made up of a mixture of public and private organisations working alongside the voluntary and third sectors who will help guide the whole borough towards zero carbon emissions by 2040 and build support for any climate change impacts the borough might face.
“The council is also trialling and investigating a range of new collection vehicles over the next the next few months including efficient modern diesel, electric and hydrogen vehicles, all of which present exciting opportunities to reduce carbon emission.
“Only last week we trialled an all-electric refuse wagon which received a positive reaction from residents.
“Meanwhile, recognising how tackling climate change is a collective effort, earlier in the summer we launched a £120,000 funding pot for small and medium businesses – as well as local community groups – dedicated to reducing their carbon emissions.
“Climate change is a crisis faced by all of us and we all have a role to play in addressing it. Every person, every business, community group and organisation can help to limit global warming and take care of our planet.
“We look forward to sharing our more detailed plans and proposals later in the year.
“Working together we can tackle the climate emergency in St Helens and build a more sustainable borough.”
Words: Aran Dhillon, Local Democracy Reporter
Watch the channel on TV