Plans for Lancashire to meet ‘Net Zero’ aspirations could become a reality in the early 2040s, according to the latest report.
At Lancashire County Council’s latest Full Council meeting (13 July), councillors heard that the independent report into Lancashire Net Zero Aspirations, commissioned by Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Lancashire Economic Partnership, concluded that the area could not achieve Net Zero emissions by 2030.
The report concludes that at most there could be a reduction of 80% by 2030 at a cost of around £40bn, and Net Zero could be achieved by the early 2040s with additional costs.”
Shaun Turner, Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, spoke at the meeting about the ‘recent successes’ that the council has taken in the direction of meeting future targets.
He said: “The recommendation in the Net Zero Pathways report is actually a conclusion. It suggests that with all the will in the world, net zero could not be achieved across Lancashire as a whole by 2030. In short, too many factors are out of the control of us and our partners. The report also considers other pathways and concludes a Lancashire-wide Net Zero could be achieved by the early 2040s.
“In terms of how we and partners are planning, funding and delivering on this, I will point out some of the recent successes.
“The £55m Levelling Up East Lancashire programme will greatly improve connectivity by providing a range of complementary public transport, walking and cycling projects.
“Working closely with local housing authorities, 2,000 Lancashire households have benefitted from the £22m Local Authority Delivery retrofitting scheme and £41m has further been awarded from round two of the Home Upgrade Grant.
“£34.1m was secured for the joint Bus Service Improvement Plan which aims to encourage more use of buses.
“£6.6m secured to deliver improvements to the walking and cycling network.
“We’ve been given an indicative allocation of just over £10.1m from the government to work with partners to help us scale up the deployment of local charge points for electric vehicles.
“Since 2021, £2.5m of external funding has been secured for nature-based solutions such as peatland restoration and woodland creation. Working with partners we have recently made further applications for an additional £2.3m for peatland restoration work and £160,000 for tree planting.
“The County Council has been appointed to lead on the development of the Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Lancashire and a dedicated officer is now in post.
“Work has started on developing the delivery plan for the Environment and Climate theme as part of the Lancashire 2050 strategy, which will see all this activity brought together and further interventions identified to scale up the collective action needed.
“This is by no means an exhaustive list of the work we are involved in, and as this council’s first ever cabinet member for environment and climate change, with a new team of circa 20 officers, I hope it gives a real flavour of the progress being made and ambition this administration has in achieving net zero.”