The council has strengthened its commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030, following the COP26 conference in Glasgow.
A wide range of actions were approved by the council’s Policy and Strategy Committee on 2 December including: improving facilities for walking, cycling and wheeling and access to public transport through an Active Travel Strategy; installing energy efficiency measures in council homes; using new technology to reduce the amount of travel by council staff; and protecting and developing biodiversity to improve the local environment.
Among the projects designed to improve active travel links is a sustainable bike/bus/train/car interchange at Motherwell station with routes linking it to Strathclyde Country Park and Ravenscraig.
The planned Pan Lanarkshire Transport Corridor will create a key north-south road and active travel route connecting the M74 to Ravenscraig, the M8 and M80. It will alleviate congestion and free up space for public transport and active travel on existing routes between Motherwell and the A73, through Chapelhall and Airdrie.
Across the council measures are in place to reduce emissions from its buildings, municipal waste and transport services, including electrification of the fleet, while a new Energy Policy aims to reduce energy and water consumption in operational buildings by 3% each year.
“COP26 highlighted to everyone the importance of taking action to tackle climate change, and the council has made its commitment to this issue very clear,” said Council Leader Councillor Jim Logue.
“We declared a climate emergency in June 2019, and we are looking at every part of the council’s operations to identify ways to reduce emissions, be more energy efficient and be innovative in delivering services in a way that minimises the impact on our environment.”
Ahead of COP26, the council hosted three events to outline a roadmap for the organisation, partners, businesses and communities to take realistic action to curb climate change locally. More than 8,000 people, including school pupils, attended the events which addressed key issues including local government’s role as a leader, involvement of schools, education and young people in promoting sustainable lifestyles, managing the transition to a zero carbon economic model, and the role of businesses to facilitate sustainable change and growth.
“Our events brought together young people, businesses, community groups and residents who share our determination to make change happen in North Lanarkshire,” said Councillor Logue.
“The outcomes from discussions during the three days were extremely constructive and have contributed to the development of our Climate Plan ACT2030 which will drive forward actions in the years ahead.”