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Climate Change Action Plan: the local impacts of climate change

Climate change is a global issue which also has local impacts. By the end of the 21st century, all areas of the UK are projected to be warmer, more so in summer than in winter with hotter, dryer summer months, wetter winters and a change in the pattern of extreme weather events. This projected temperature rise in the UK is consistent with future warming globally. By 2070, in the high emission scenario, this range amounts to 0.9°C to 5.4°C in summer, and 0.7°C to 4.2°C in winter.

In Cumbria, it is estimated that the average daily temperature will rise between 1 and 2 degrees by 2050 and that summer rainfall will reduce by 15% but that winter rainfall will increase by between 15% and 30%. The Allerdale area has experienced severe adverse flooding events over the last decade with millions being spent locally to mitigate possible future flooding events.

The Joint Cumbria Public Health Strategy 2019 provides the following priority areas which are addressed in Allerdale’s Climate Change Action Plan:

Green Spaces and Biodiversity

The co-benefits of protecting nature sites and creating new rich green space include better mental and physical health for local people, greater resilience to future climate change extremes and more resilient food production

Some example of local authority work in this action plan include:

  • Protection and restoration of nature through nature recovery strategies
  • Carbon sequestration through nature-based solutions such as restoring peatland, considerate land management and additional tree planting
  • Habitat restoration and green infrastructure growth
  • Wildflower verges, reduced pesticide used and changed mowing patterns

Air Quality

By supporting low carbon infrastructure and transport initiatives, Allerdale Borough Council can reduce resource use, reduce CO2E emissions and improve air quality. Hence improving health and wellbeing of our residents and protecting the planet.

Our action plan addresses air quality in its sections; ‘growing the low carbon economy’ and ‘decarbonising transport’

  • Support development of safe walking and cycle routes
  • Rapid transition to low carbon vehicle in our fleets and EV charging points for our communities
  • Developing interventions that reduce the need to travel

Climate Change

Slowing, stopping and then removing the greenhouse gases from our atmosphere is an ambitious target – achievable only with joined up thinking and commitment across all areas of local government and our communities. Local Councils are an indispensable partner in reaching the national target of net zero by 2050.

  • Seek funding and partnership activities to support re-skilling, retraining and local research
  • Work with partners on promotion of retrofitting properties to reduce energy use and emissions
  • Supporting partnerships to bring green jobs to Allerdale

Waste reduction

We cannot easily recycle our way out of the strain on natural resources and the quantity of waste that is currently produced locally. New solutions to reduce single-use items and unnecessary products that soon end up as waste are needed.

  • Awareness campaigns to lead to minimisation of residual waste
  • Promote re-use and recycling initiatives
  • Create additional recyclate streams to use waste as a resource
  • PR Campaigns to raise awareness of possibilities
  • Look at our own procurement policies to ensure that ‘whole life costs’ are considered in the value of products

Allerdale Borough Council’s role in partnerships and with the public, places us at the heart of the climate conversation and in developing and replicating local solutions. However, these levers alone are not sufficient to deliver our Carbon Neutral ambitions, due to gaps in key powers that prevent systems-scale or holistic approaches, policy and funding barriers, and a lack of capacity and skills caused by funding cuts. Figure 2 below shows local authorities’ leverage and influence through their services, planning and enforcement roles, housing, regeneration, economic development activities, education and skills services and investments.