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CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY: FIRST COUNCIL TO COMPLETE UK PILOT

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Bury has received praise from environment minister Michael Meacher for not wasting time when it comes down to tackl...
Bury has received praise from environment minister Michael Meacher for not wasting time when it comes down to tackling what is possibly the greatest environmental threat facing the world today - climate change.

Bury MBC has become the first authority in the country to complete the UK pilot programme of the council's for climate protection campaign.

In the UK, the campaign has been run by the IDeA Improvement and Development Agency with support from central government. It is also part of an international initiative - the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign - which is being run by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. The programme itself has involved data collection, testing new climate change software, forecasting greenhouse gas emissions and adopting plans to achieve reductions. In recent weeks, Bury MBC has also been consulting over its own climate change strategy which sets out to explain the issues, outlines progress made to date and sets ambitious targets for the future.

Bury's deputy leader Derek Boden, who has also ensured

that the council is committed to the Local Agenda 21 process, said: 'We are one of just 24 pilot authorities selected to be part of this new programme and although we are the first to complete it, the main thing is that we have shown that it does work and hopefully many others will now follow our lead. We have already begun our own series of initiatives to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions locally and more will follow. At the moment we are optimistic that the whole borough will reduce its emissions by as much as 30 per cent before the 2010 deadline while we, as a council, expect to do even better and reduce our figure by some 50 per cent.'

Mr Meacher said: 'I would like to congratulate Bury MBC for showing leadership in this area and for publishing a programme that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Bury. This shows that local action can be taken to help solve a global problem, and I hope that many other local authorities will follow suit.'

Copies of Bury Metro's Climate Change Strategy can be requested by telephoning 0161-253-6020 or it can be viewed via the council's website .

Notes

The Cities for Climate Protection Programme uses IT software to conduct a baseline assessment of greenhouse gas emissions and then steers councils through a process of developing an action plan designed to reduce their emissions. Councils are encouraged to reduce greenhouse gases by working with their communities on a range of activities that reduce the use of energy from fossil fuels, address car dependence and encourage sustainable waste practice.

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