Climate change in Blackburn with Darwen

How climate change affects us and what we are doing to tackle it

Climate change in Blackburn with Darwen

Our emissions

We declared a climate emergency in 2019. We set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. Carbon neutral basically means that our carbon emissions are zero. To reach this target, we need to reduce our emissions by approximately 13% each year.

Carbon footprint

Carbon footprint is the calculation of all activities that produce or remove carbon emissions. In Blackburn with Darwen, most of our emissions come from industry, domestic (household) energy use, and transport emissions.

Council emissions

We have direct control over about 1 to 2% of the emissions in our borough. Our emissions are mainly from gas and electricity, for heating and lighting our buildings and streetlights.

Even though we only have direct control over 1 to 2% of emissions in the borough, we have influence over around 30% of emissions. This is because of functions like planning and improving active travel opportunities.

Climate Emergency Action Plan

In July 2019, we declared a climate emergency and committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Our key objectives are to:

  • to use resources sustainably so we don't add to the burden of climate change emissions either in Blackburn with Darwen or elsewhere
  • to align policy to our climate change mitigation and adaptation objectives, to create sustainable places where people want to live, work and visit, and capture the benefits to health and the economy from the move to a climate friendly borough
  • to use energy more efficiently and generate more energy locally from renewable sources; to cut waste and improve recycling
  • to make and facilitate the transition to cleaner, greener fuels and more active travel
  • to store carbon naturally by increasing tree cover, protecting soils and enhancing natural habitats

In 2021, we established a Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) to prioritise the key actions for climate change, so we can create a resilient borough.

Themes in the Climate Emergency Action Plan

The Climate Emergency Action Plan breaks these actions down into 5 themes:

Sound decisions

Considering the environmental impact, and accounting for emissions in our decision making

Resilient and attractive borough

Align council policy with climate objectives; exploit investment opportunities that come with low carbon opportunities; update plans according to changing climate, actions and occurrences; support homes to become more resilient

Lean and clean

Invest in clean energy and efficiency to reduce council and household use and waste

Travelling lightly

To reduce emissions from transport and promote active travel

Capture more carbon

To promote natural carbon trees (for example, tree planting on council and privately owned land); to work with residents to raise awareness on actions to take and promote climate change; to actively lobby the government to provide additional powers and resources to meet 2030 targets

Read the full Climate Emergency Action Plan

Achieving carbon neutral

We are already looking at changes we can make in the Council, to help achieve our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Our priorities for 2023 and 2024 include:

  • heat decarbonisation feasibility work
  • tree planting and peatland restoration
  • communicating: one of the recommendations from the People's Jury is to educate residents
  • training: an e-learning module for staff on adaptation, and bitesize learning for elected members
  • a local area energy plan to identify the potential for renewable energy generation in the borough
  • electric vehicle car and charge point studies

Our Corporate Plan

Our Corporate Plan sets out our aims to reduce health inequalities and improve health across the Borough, by giving people the opportunity to start well, live well and age well.

It has 4 core missions that will be the driving force to achieving a good quality of life for every resident, no matter what. These missions are:

  • a more prosperous borough, where no-one is left behind
  • every child and young person to have the opportunities to fulfil their potential
  • deliver our climate emergency action plan
  • build healthier, happier and safer communities

Our Local Plan

We are updating our Local Plan to make sure that climate change is at the forefront of planning. We want to make sure that pur planning policy framework supports the development of current and new growth sites. This will help to create a sustainable, attractive, healthy and prosperous place where people choose to live and work.

Climate Change documents

Current documents

Archived documents