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People and organisations in Warrington are being asked to show their commitment to combat the climate emergency in the run up to the UN’s latest climate conference to be held later this year.
The UK is hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 31 October – 12 November 2021.
The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The UN process encourages countries to raise their ambition and bring forward plans and actions. The ‘Count Me In’ campaign, which will be leading the charge in the climate emergency in Warrington, recognises that the global climate crisis has a local dimension too, and that we need to bring forward our own plans and actions in support of the global effort.
Warrington Borough Council declared a climate and ecological emergency in 2019. Its ambition is to achieve carbon neutrality in its own operations by 2030 and also work with others to help the Borough of Warrington reach carbon neutrality as soon as possible.
So far, the council has taken actions such as investing in solar farms, working with housing associations on solar projects, installing 56 free-to-use electric vehicle charging points at Time Square multi-storey car park and numerous transport improvements, amongst other projects.
The council recognises that the local response needs to be much wider than its actions alone. Independent experts have signalled the Borough as a whole needs to cut its carbon footprint much faster to be in line with the UN’s Paris Agreement.
As such, the Warrington Climate & Ecological Emergency Commission has been created to provide advice and help lead a wider conversation, so that all sectors and sections of the community can play their part.
Residents, businesses, workers and services are now being invited to share what actions they are committing to in order to combat the climate emergency.
People have already made commitments to act as part of the campaign, including cycling to work more frequently, eating less meat, and swapping single-use plastic bottles and coffee cups for water bottles and travel mugs.
You can pledge your commitment at warrington.gov.uk/your-commitment-act as an individual, business or organisation. Those who do will be added to the climate emergency mailing list to receive updates on local climate action, related opportunities and support.
Cllr Hitesh Patel, cabinet member for public protection, housing and environment said: “Following the coronavirus pandemic, the climate emergency is the next global challenge. The difficulties we face will be far more severe, far longer-lasting and far more costly than COVID-19.
“The climate crisis will be irreversible unless we take action now. Tackling the climate emergency and reducing our carbon footprint is not the responsibility of any one individual or organisation, but is every person’s duty.
“We hope all Warrington residents, businesses and organisations will show their support and pledge what action they are taking to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Cllr David Ellis, Chair of the Warrington Climate Commission said: “We all have a part to play can to help turn things around, but as time is short, we need to act sooner rather than later.
“Count Me In recognises that community action matters and that together we can have a bigger impact. Some changes we need to make are simple that can be started today, others will be more difficult and may take longer, but it’s important to make a start and for local people and organisations to do what they can.
“Simple, relatively low cost actions like improving heating controls or adding extra insulation in properties can make a big difference and soon pay for themselves, especially with the rapidly increasing cost of gas and electricity. Also, don’t forget really simple things like turning off lights and reducing food waste.”
Find out more about the climate emergency and what is being done in Warrington at warrington.gov.uk/climate-emergency