Next week, I will be attending COP26 in Glasgow with colleagues from the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and I will be speaking at one of the events that are looking at greener transport solutions.
COP26 is a unique opportunity to change how we tackle the climate crisis. It focuses on collaborative working and we are clear that we need to work together, as a borough and alongside other local authorities and the Government. As one of the UK’s highest emitting local authorities, we feel a real responsibility to act now to contribute our fair share to keep global temperature rise to below 1.5°C, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building sustainable, prosperous, and healthy communities.
The Council’s Climate Emergency Response Plan strives to help the borough become carbon neutral by 2045. Across west Cheshire, we are already seeing actions to reduce carbon footprints, contribute to the national clean air strategy and ensure that future generations are protected from climate change. From making our homes more energy efficient, using greener transport methods, and reducing, reusing and recycling more waste, there’s plenty that we can do as individuals to make a difference.
There are also incredibly exciting things happening that mean the eyes of the world will be on us. HyNet is a world-leading project that has been selected by Government to be one of the UK’s first two low carbon industrial clusters. It is a great vote of confidence in our area and in the potential of the project, which will reduce carbon emissions across the entire North West by up to 10 million tonnes every year – the equivalent of taking four million cars off the road – by producing low-carbon hydrogen that will be used as an alternative to natural gas. It will allow us to secure the future of industry in the borough, while playing a leading role in decarbonising the UK.
Ellesmere Port has the potential to attract more than £2bn in regeneration investment and become one of the first Net Zero Carbon Industrial clusters in the world, with plans in place to position the town at the heart of the nation’s green industrial revolution.
We must all play our part to tackle climate change. I know that there are some fantastic projects happening with partners and in our communities, schools, businesses, and industries, and I’d like to introduce you to a way to share them. The new Inspire web platform provides a fresh space to share ideas and stories about what people are doing to reduce carbon emissions and improve the natural environment. The site will showcase communities and your commitment to promoting greener living and a more sustainable future.
Visit Inspire at: participatenow.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/climate-emergency
Climate change is a massive threat to our way of life and the time to act is now. I want to ensure that, as a borough, we grasp all the opportunities COP26 brings and ensure that Cheshire West and Chester is at the heart of the green industrial revolution.
Councillor Louise Gittins
Leader, Chester West & Cheshire Council