Switching Lancaster City Council’s refuse collection fleet from diesel to electric will save up to 785 tonnes of Co2 city councillors will hear next week.

The figure accounts for around 65% of the council’s total vehicle emissions, and 23% of the council’s emissions in total, and is a key area to be tackled as part of a new action plan on climate change.

In January 2019 the city council declared a climate emergency, with a commitment to becoming net zero carbon by 2030.

On Tuesday November 5 members of the council’s Cabinet will receive an update of progress and discuss the next steps towards meeting the ambitious target.

In addition to switching the council’s vehicle fleet to run on electricity, feasibility plans for a council owned solar farm on the former Salt Ayre tip have also been drawn up as part of the action plan.

This would both reduce the council’s gas and electricity needs and generate an income.

Other actions include replacing gas heating systems in the council’s buildings with alternative fuels such as hydrogen.

Coun Kevin Frea, deputy leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “Tackling the devastating impacts of climate change is at the heart of all the city council’s policies and there are areas when we can have a significant impact. These actions include tackling our own carbon emissions, which is set out in the plan to be considered by Cabinet.

“We also have a wider leadership role which will see us engage with, influence, and support mitigation of climate change across the whole district.”

Other actions being taken include the establishment of a Citizens’ Jury that will see members of the public help to make recommendations that will guide the council’s approach to tackling the climate emergency.

A climate change manager is also being recruited to coordinate action across the council and work with staff to identify and implement practical ways of reducing carbon emissions.

At the Cabinet meeting councillors will be asked to endorse the action plan, following which a series of business cases will be brought forward on each of the items it contains.

The report to Cabinet can be found on our meeting and minutes pages.