Green plan bid to half emissions

Wigan Council's sustainability and climate change manager James Noakes
Wigan Council's sustainability and climate change manager James Noakes

WIGAN Council has unveiled its “green” plan to half the borough’s carbon emissions by 2020.

Environment chiefs want to reduce the amount of harmful gases produced in the borough by up to 50 per cent over the next nine years.

The local authority has also set out proposals to move to a low carbon economy after council bosses revealed Wigan has the fastest growing environmental technology sector in Greater Manchester.

Wigan Council’s sustainability and climate change manager James Noakes said: “The changing climate is a global problem with local impacts and solutions. Whether it is flooding, heat waves, pests, diseases, altered lifestyle choices or business opportunities, Wigan can not escape the consequences of climate change in the coming years and it cannot forget its responsibilities.

“We know that a high proportion of CO2 emissions come directly from what individuals do and the choices they make. So it is crucial that all of the borough’s local communities remain well informed about climate change and how things can be done.

“The hidden costs of climate change, and not responding, are substantial. There is no indication that the cost of oil is going to reduce and we’re going to see future price increases in gas and electricity. Businesses are going to have to look at ways to develop low carbon services.”

According to the council, Wigan folk emit an average of 6.2 tonnes of carbon per person each year. And despite being less than the averages for the North West and the rest of the UK, it compares unfavourably with other parts of the world.

The council is planning to work with householders, transport providers, local industry and public services to reduce carbon emissions by 30-50 per cent by 2020.