Warning of a "climate catastrophe" if local councils - like Oldham - don't take action

Date published: 03 October 2019

Oldham council is among the local authorities that Friends of the Earth are warning need to do more to avoid a "climate catastrophe".

The campaign group has rated the performance of local councils on their action against climate change and given them a score out of 100.

Oldham Council scored 68 percent in their report - which judged factors like recycling rates and the number of electric vehicle charging points.

Friends of the Earth also took into account household energy efficiency, eco-heating, renewable energy and tree cover in the boroughs.

How people get to and from work also played a part in the score, with councils being urged to get more people using public transport, cycling, walking and lift-sharing.

Estelle Worthington, North West regional campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: “The bottom line is that we have to act in line with the scale of change needed because it’s our responsibility to hand on a better environment for the next generation.

“All local authorities however they are performing need to ramp up what they are doing. We know we are facing a climate and ecological emergency that threatens our existence and the natural word. If we want to change things for the better, let’s start at home.

“Creating cleaner and greener places to live means healthier, happier lives. It’s why local authorities in our region need to adopt really ambitious local climate action plans, with help from local communities. And national government needs to get in gear and support local authorities to take action.”

Oldham Council says it plans to be carbon neutral by 2025 and pointed the Oldham Chronicle towards its Green Oldham initiative.

The authority has also passed a motion to declare a climate change emergency.

In July, Councillor Abdul Jabbar, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet member for Low Carbon said: "Oldham has an amazing natural environment and it's about time we celebrated it.

"We hope the [Green Oldham] campaign has helped residents make green choices, enjoy days out in Oldham's fabulous green spaces and encouraged organisations to make environmentally conscious choices.

"It's easy to believe one person's efforts don't matter, but if we all made some small changes we could make a huge difference to the environment.

"Also, as part of being a carbon neutral borough, one of our key ambitions is to produce clean electricity from renewable sources to power our own buildings and street lighting by 2025."

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