North Lanarkshire residents are being asked to give their views on proposals designed tackle climate change and take action to reduce the area’s carbon footprint.
The council has launched a public consultation on its draft climate plan, as it bids to reach net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by the end of the decade.
Among its short-term actions are ensuring less than five per cent of the area’s waste goes to landfill by 2025, converting to an electric vehicle fleet by the same year, and developing a local heat source strategy within the next two years.
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The Act 2030 plan sets out steps for improving energy efficiency in council buildings and local housing, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions from waste and transport.
Included are improvements to active travel infrastructure, office rationalisation and “new norm” home working, plus a five-year masterplan for North Lanarkshire’s country parks.
Responses from residents, businesses and local organisations will be incorporated into the final version of the plan – developed after the council declared a “climate emergency” two years ago.
Environment convener Michael McPake said: “Climate change is one of the most important issues facing the world, and we have a responsibility to act now to reduce our emissions and promote sustainable development and help achieve national targets.
“We’ve set a net zero target for 2030 and will use this new plan to monitor our work, in partnership with residents, the business community and other public organisations.
“Building-related emissions account for 67 per cent of the council’s carbon footprint so we will be identifying ways to reduce heat demand and decarbonise heat in existing buildings, as well as improve the way we design and build new homes, schools and other facilities.
“We are also protecting our greenspaces, rivers and lochs, raising awareness of climate change among school pupils, improving recycling rates, replacing traditional street lights with LED bulbs and installing more electric charging points.”
The climate plan outlines that North Lanarkshire’s carbon “budget” for the period 2020 to 2100 will be “exhausted by 2027 [at] the current rate of energy-associated emissions”; and adds that “on-road emissions account for 84 per cent of transportation-related emissions”.
Its planned town-centre visions will have “low-carbon development and sustainability at the heart of each”, including re-use and repurposing of existing buildings and creating active travel and public transport networks.
North Lanarkshire is also marking November’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow with “a series of events to target climate change denial and raise awareness among individuals and organisations”.
It will include trees being planted by every pupil at the authority’s primary and additional support needs schools “in recognition of the climate challenges facing the country”, with the environmental plan adding: “The greenspace team is looking at areas of council land where two or three ‘climate emergency’ woodlands can be planted.”
The council’s Act 2030 plan and survey are available online, and public consultation runs until October 31.
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