Climate Change Strategy

On 16th October 2019 Halton Borough Council declared a climate emergency

Council believes that climate change poses a severe risk to the future of our planet and global warming has serious consequences, affecting our economic, social and environmental well-being, both here in Halton and across the world.

A Greener Future for Halton | Working towards a greener future - Halton’s Vision

This Action Plan is predominantly focused on reducing the Council’s own carbon production. During the lifetime of the Plan, the Council will seek to broaden the scope and develop proposals to provide a broader Borough-wide Strategy. The Action Plan is intended to have short-term and long-term actions and will be renewed every five years. This does not preclude any actions being undertaken during the five-year period that enhances progress in the themes/programmes of work for this plan.

By 2040, Halton Borough Council’s own operations will aim to be:

  • Climate friendly - having transformed the way it delivers services, works with businesses and other partners, uses buildings, land, and energy to decarbonise & encourage sequestration.
  • Climate ready - with plans and projects having increased the resilience of Halton Council’s operations in the communities and the economy it serves to help minimise the impacts from unavoidable climate change; and 
  • Climate just - ensuring that all of Halton and its environment has benefited from this transition.
  • Climate friendly refers to activities, which cut carbon emissions i.e. climate change mitigation. Becoming climate friendly will mean Halton achieving its net zero carbon target of 2040, 10 years ahead of the current Government target year of 2050. It will also include sequestration measures that are not aimed at reduction but removal of carbon from the air.
  • Climate ready refers to increasing resilience to the impacts of climate change – being climate ready is also known as climate change adaptation. The stable climate that society and the economy have historically been based on can no longer be assumed, so society must adapt infrastructure and our way of life to cope with the changed climate. 
  • Climate just refers to ensuring Halton is a resilient, fair and prosperous place to live and work, and puts fairness and social justice at the heart of achieving climate goals. To be successful, all of Halton needs to benefit from the transition to a decarbonised economy and no sections of the population can be left behind. 
Download Strategy and Action Plan

What we have achieved so far?

The Council has already taken significant action to reduce its carbon emissions – since we started to measure our carbon footprint in 2006/2007, overall emissions have reduced from 26338 tonnes of CO2 to 9770 tonnes.

From 2009 until 2020.

  • The Council was given guidelines by the government in 2009, which led to an expectation that public bodies would aim to reduce their carbon emissions by 30% of their 2009 carbon emission baseline by 2020. 
  • The Council calculated its baseline carbon emissions in 2009 as 26825 Carbon tonnes. In the reporting year 2020, the Council had managed to reduce its carbon emissions to 11354 carbon tonnes.
  • This was a reduction of 57%.

From 2017 until 2021.

  • The Government now expects public bodies to reduce their carbon emissions by 50% by 2031. The new baseline set is now 2017.
  • The Council’s 2017 baseline was 14811 carbon tonnes. In the reporting year 2021/22, the Council had managed to reduce its carbon emissions to 9327 tonnes.
  • This was a reduction of 37%.
  • We have the remaining 18 years to 2040 to get to net zero and hope to accelerate change over coming years to easily achieve this and probably earlier. However, we remain committed to an evidence based approach underpinning all our efforts.

Green Homes Grant & Sustainable Warmth Fund

Working in partnership, Halton Council and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has secured £5.7 million from the government's Green Homes Grant scheme and Sustainable Warmth Fund. This will pay for work on improving the energy efficiency of around 570 homes in Halton to make them warmer, help cut carbon emissions and reduce energy costs.

More information

The Big Halton Forest | Growing more trees and greenspaces in Runcorn & Widnes

The Big Halton Forest won’t just be in one place, it will be across the borough from single trees to large groups of trees and associated planting. That way everyone has the chance to help create tree cover equivalent to a new forest.

More information

10 Steps you can consider to help tackle climate change.

  1. Commit to taking urgent action now to reduce your carbon footprint
  2. Measure your impact – where does your carbon dioxide come from? How big an impact are you making through your lifestyle and choices? Calculate your carbon footprint on the WWF website.
  3. Turn the heating down - even turning the heating down by one degree will save you money and reduce your carbon footprint. Make sure your home is properly insulated too – draughts can end up being heating-draining monsters.
  4. Speak to your employer about your workplace’s footprint –The Carbon Trust has some great office efficiency guides to get the ball rolling, but why not see if you can support your organisation to reduce its carbon footprint? Are there workplace initiatives to support people to cycle to work? What is your workplace’s energy provider? Does your workplace know its carbon footprint?
  5. Reduce meat and dairy from your diet – research shows that by cutting our meat and dairy, you can cut greenhouse gas emissions. Eating more plant-based food and choosing fewer meat and dairy options is crucial for tackling climate change, so why not challenge yourself to have more meat-free and dairy-free days?
  6. Travel smarter - air quality and pollution is a challenge in Halton, and we all need to adopt the mind-set that we aren’t ‘stuck in traffic’, but that ‘we are traffic’. Leave the car in the garage more often, car-share, cycle, use public transport or walk.
  7. Reduce, reuse, recycle - Think about products you buy – are they locally sourced and ethical? Can you buy local products that don’t come with unnecessary packaging? Do you know what you can/can’t recycle? Consider where you buy products from and how they will get to you – and, above all, really consider whether you need to buy the product in the first place.
  8. Choose renewables if you can – switching to a green supplier is easy to do online and should only take a few minutes to sort. If you’re in a position to, could you consider local renewable energy generation (eg solar panels)? And, even if you aren’t yet with a green provider, make sure to switch to LED lightbulbs, buy energy-efficient appliances (like fridges and washing machines) and switch your electrics off at the mains – don’t leave them on stand-by!
  9. Conserve water – take a quick shower instead of a bath, turn the tap off when cleaning your teeth, boil only the water you need for your brew and collect rainwater for your plants, rather than using a hose. There’s loads you can do to save water – and money – with further information on the United Utilities website.
  10. Spread the word - be an advocate and celebrate your own carbon conscious actions and choices. Share the amazing work you’ve been doing to reduce your carbon footprint and support those around you to do the same. Help other people understand the importance of the climate emergency – The Carbon Literacy Trust is a great place to start. And speak to your local and national politicians and ask for their help in amplifying the important climate emergency message

  • Reduce the amount of waste you produce and use reusable products
  • Cut down the amount of plastics you use
  • Buy sustainable products
  • If you use carrier bags reuse them or better still buy a reusable cotton or other permanent shopping bag
  • Recycle as much as you can
  • Reduce the amount of food you waste
  • Support local food growing and redistribution alternatives and organisations

  • Install renewable energy at your home
  • Switch to a renewable energy supplier
  • Plan now for when you next need to replace your current heating systemWalk and cycle for short journeys

  • If you have a garden or an allotment, manage this for wildlife
  • Visit, spend time and be active in green and water spaces
  • Volunteer for projects that protect or improve the environment in your local area

  • Get the basics right – including LED lighting and draught-proofing
  • Upgrade your home insulation – loft, cavity wall and draught
  • Think about whole house retrofit, particularly if carrying out renovations

  • Walk and cycle for short journeys
  • Use public transport for longer journeys
  • Cut costs, congestion, parking problems and pollution by sharing a car with a colleague or friend.
  • Switch off your engine when at a standstill
  • Buy an electric car – if you do, make sure you are on the right electricity tariff