Blackburn with Darwen’s new Climate Change Champion has launched the borough’s fight to make a difference to the environment.

It is all part of Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Emergency Climate Action Plan. The Council has declared a climate emergency and set a goal to be net carbon neutral by 2030 to tackle climate change – and Climate Change Champion Councillor Jane Oates is leading the charge.

This needs everybody – residents, communities, businesses, and local and national government – to take action together.

In Blackburn with Darwen, this means taking big action on recycling across the board, improving air quality across the borough by cutting emissions from transport and increasing greener travel. This includes boosting the borough’s public electric car chargers, already the highest number in East Lancashire, and encouraging car sharing and increased use of public transport.

We have also pledged to plant more trees and use cleaner energy as a council.

Residents have a big part to play, from recycling more at home, thinking about car journeys, using energy at home carefully and buying locally.

As part of this, Blackburn Market has launched the ‘Plan for the Planet’, which will see huge environmental strides being made.

This means free water refilling stations, new reusable bags, compostable packaging, more options for recycling and a pledge to eliminate single-use plastics.

There is already a refillable water station near the stairs, as well as LED lights throughout which reduce emissions and last longer than usual bulbs. There are also plans to expand the recycling bins in the market as well as the market-wide plans to reduce packaging.

Councillor Oates said:

This is a massively important campaign and it is going to see us look at every area we can to bring big change. Every little bit helps and we can all make little changes that together can make a big difference. Together we can make a change to make the borough cleaner and greener.”

We are seeing these changes happen in real time at the market and elsewhere, and it is growing all the time. We will lead by example by doing all we can to tackle climate change. It is the biggest issue we face now and in the future and we all need to do our bit.”

Whittakers Butchers is just one of the traders working to make a difference on Blackburn Market. Butcher Malcolm Marsden said:

We take great pride in sourcing all our meat from local farmers who we know.

Our meat comes from local farms which we trust and have the highest standards of animal welfare and that also means there are no air miles and lower emissions as it doesn’t have to travel far.

We know lots of our customers personally and they trust us to be open and clear.

It’s important to us and we understand how important it us for our customers too. Every little thing helps in the big scheme of things.”

Councillor Vicky McGurk, Executive Member for Finance and Governance, added:

We are doing a lot, but a lot more needs to be done. Our Emergency Climate Action Plan is ambitious but we are determined to make a difference and we need everyone to play their full part. A lot of this is not going to be easy, as tough choices will be needed, but together we can do it.”

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