Climate change

Climate change

Climate change is a huge issue and a very real challenge for us all. It affects our communities, businesses and nature and we all need to play our part in making Lancashire a greener county.

Protecting our environment is our priority and taking action to reduce CO2 levels is key.

In December 2020, we agreed our ambition to:

"Transition the Lancashire economy away from carbon by 2030, address the biodiversity crisis; while also protecting against poverty and improving social inclusion."

Taking action

Our Environment and Climate Strategy sets out action the authority is already taking and maps out further improvements we will make over the next three years.

We all have an important role to play in making change happen. We met to consider ideas about future action we could take at the Lancashire Climate Summit in March 2022 and we are developing new plans based on the information we discussed. 

What we are doing

Action we are taking includes:

  • Installing energy saving measures in county council buildings, reducing carbon emissions by 23% since 2017.
  • Green improvements to our libraries, including replacing ageing heating systems with air to water heat pumps, installing solar panels, and replacing single glazed windows with double glazing.
  • Our recent improvements to Garstang Library are a great example of this and will save 8 tonnes of CO2 per year.
  • Using 100% Renewable Energy Guarantees Origin (REGO) green electricity for all buildings in our portfolio, saving 6,352 tonnes of carbon per year.

Converting 152,000 streetlights to LEDs, cutting carbon emissions by 86,400 tonnes and saving around £40m in energy costs since 2009.

  • Running, walking and cycling initiatives, to help encourage active travel.
  • Getting more people riding bikes though Love to Ride Lancashire. Register for free to get tips and tricks to help you swap cars for handlebars, take part in fun campaigns, track your rides and CO2 saved and be part on a supportive online community. It doesn't matter if you're new to riding or a regular commuter - everyone is welcome.
  • Investing in zero emission and low emission bus fleets as part of the Bus Service Improvement Plan, which also helps to reduce CO2 by encouraging more people to use bus travel.
  • Installing 150 electric vehicle charging points across Lancashire. 
  • Reducing emissions from our vehicle fleet. Following trials, the first service to go electric will be the county council's parking enforcement team, which will be kitted out with 12 new electric cars.
  • Publishing the Highways Decarbonisation Strategy which  sets out how we will achieve carbon reductions from our highways maintenance and highway related activities.
  • Reducing our carbon footprint from our day-to-day highways work, including changing the way we maintain our roads. By using 'on site' recycling of repair materials, we saved 1,139 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2020.
  • Establishing and leading the Biological Heritage Site system. There are around 1,200 local sites, which identify and protect ancient woodlands, peatlands, wetlands and species-rich grasslands.
  • Hosting the Lancashire Environment Record Network, which collects, manages and shares information on the species, habitats and protected areas in the county.
  • Restoring peatlands to improve carbon capture, boost biodiversity, improve water quality and help tackle flooding by slowing water flow. Projects in the Forest of Bowland AONB have restored 755 hectares of our peatlands.  
  • Planting 149,000 trees, capturing 37,000 tonnes of carbon over the last decade.
  • Securing grants from the Urban Tree Fund to plant 600 trees on highway verges in disadvantaged areas of Fleetwood, Skelmersdale, Preston and Accrington over the next 2 years.
  • Trialling the use of biochar across 6ha of farmland in Fylde and Chorley. The charcoal-like substance stores thousands of tonnes of carbon in the soil, as well as helping to improve soil quality and moisture retention. You can find out more about this new technology in the video below.

  • Producing the Flood Risk Management Strategy, which sets out how we will work with partners, businesses and communities to manage the risk of flooding and move to a more climate resilient Lancashire.
  • Encouraging high quality blue-green sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) to be installed on major developments. These control surface water close to where it falls and mimic natural drainage as closely as possible, providing an allowance for climate change to achieve a climate resilient drainage design.

Lancashire Climate Summit

The first Lancashire Climate Summit saw senior leaders from Lancashire County Council, district and unitary councils, the Environment Agency and other local organisations get together to consider ideas that will help Lancashire to reach net zero carbon emissions and adapt to the changing climate.  

The summit marks the next stage in collaborative working to ensure a greener future for Lancashire. 

Topics discussed included:

  • new local research that will form a basis for future plans
  • actions to reduce emissions from housing, transport and businesses
  • working with the natural environment to tackle climate change
  • adapting to the impacts of climate change

Climate summit recording - part 1

Climate summit recording - part 2

The presentation slides from the Summit are available to download here:

Four reports on climate change were commissioned by Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council and Blackpool Council to provide an evidence base and inform future plan development.

These documents, together with ideas from Lancashire Climate Summit, will help map out our way to get to net zero as quickly as possible and protect our environment.

Hear from our Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change

Hear from County Councillor Shaun Turner, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, who presented at the Summit.