WORK has started on a climate change policy and action plan for the Barrow area.

Its aim is to set out ways Barrow council, residents and businesses can reduce their carbon footprint.

Council leader Ann Thomson said: “The hard work begins now so we can put flesh on the bones of this action plan and start getting some positive movement.

“Climate change is happening and it is up to all of us to do what we can to move towards climate repair.

“Barrow has always been very forward-thinking when it comes to big issues like this. The council was one of the first in the country to introduce a paper recycling scheme in the 1990s.”

Lancaster University is set to benchmark the carbon footprint of councils in Cumbria. A draft carbon reduction policy could be presented to the council in March 2020.

Cllr Thomson, the Labour member for Hindpool, added: “Though they are at an early stage, discussions on how the council can minimise its own carbon footprint have begun. We also want to provide ideas and opportunities, help and advice for residents and businesses who want to join in and take action against climate change. This is something everyone can help with. No single action is too small.”

A council report said it planned to minimise its carbon footprint through its estate and assets and provide opportunities, advice and support for our residents and local businesses to do the same.

A bid for funding from the European Regional Development Fund, in partnership with Art Gene, is in the pipeline to help it become a low carbon area.

By July of this year, half of the UK’s local authorities had declared a ‘climate emergency,’ including Barrow.

Zero Carbon Britain says the aim is to get to ‘net zero’ emissions by 2030.

It says nearly 10 percent of emissions come from agriculture and how food is produced. Eating less meat and dairy products would help cut emissions, it said.

Forty percent of the UK’s transport carbon emissions come from private cars and 22 per cent from air travel, it said. Six out of every 10 cars only contain a single person, according to Zero Carbon Britain.