Our Journey to Net Zero

We’ve all have heard of phrases such as “climate change”, “saving the environment”, “carbon neutral” and “net zero” – they’re becoming more and more common in the media for good reason.

Our world is changing and the effect we are having on the planet is becoming more and more apparent.

In July 2019, a Climate Emergency declaration started Burnley Council’s journey to net zero. 

The declaration recognises the part the council has to play in tackling climate change and reducing its fossil fuel emissions.

We have set ourselves ambitious targets to reduce our carbon footprint and support the transition to a Net Zero borough by 2050 – an ambitious target that the council and the borough’s residents, organisations and businesses all need to achieve together.

It will take a lot of hard work, but we think it’s worth it.

So what’s the council doing about it?

Well, quite a lot.

For a more detailed look at what we’ve done and what we plan to do in the future, take a look at our climate change strategy and how we, as a council, are planning to tackle this mighty issue at a local level.

Or dive into our action plan and progress updates

You can also get a quicker snapshot of some of the climate action changes we’ve made since 2019.

net zero targets graphic

“The world is facing a climate crisis, and we have a responsibility to act now to protect our planet for future generations.

“It is everyone’s responsibility; and we can all make a difference. If we all work together, and innovatively we can accelerate the process of reducing the disastrous damage, and impact on our borough and our world. The council has made a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, and we all have an important role to play in making that happen. By working together we can have a greener, safer, and brighter future.

“Thanks for joining Our Journey to Net Zero – your commitment is vital to making a positive change.”

Lukman Patel, chief executive, Burnley Council

What does Net Zero mean?

A simple guide to climate change

Find out more …

We’ve created this and other pages to help you find out more about climate change, what you can do to help take climate change action, and simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money at the same time. And with rising fuel bills that’s got to be worth a few minutes of your time alone.

We’ve broken that information down into themes:

The 17 Goals

This is BIG STUFF from the United Nations and sets out what we all have to do across the world to save our planet.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. 

Biodiversity Duty

Burnley’s wildlife, ecosystems and habitats are vitally important to us all. Any loss of biodiversity affects our lives in many ways, from the insects that pollenate our food, to the green spaces that enhance our health and wellbeing.

The Environment Act 2021 introduced a strengthened biodiversity duty which requires all public authorities in England to consider what they can do to conserve and enhance biodiversity.

The council’s first consideration of its Biodiversity Duty was published in December 2023. This document summarises the council’s current and planned actions that contribute towards the Biodiversity Duty and suggested future actions for consideration.

New ideas

Teach the teacher

Free training, resources, and support for students so they can teach their teachers about climate change and how easy climate education can be.

Find out more.

Students for sustainability UK

SOS-UK is a student-led education charity focusing on sustainability.

Pupils’ poster campaign

Pupils at St John’s Primary School, Cliviger looked at climate change recently as part of their studies. They carried out a survey among local residents and came up with ideas for posters to highlight the issue. Here are some of them:

Latest news

400 trees handed out to residents

Residents in Burnley will be adding some extra greenery to their gardens this spring after taking part in the town’s Big Tree Giveaway.

Burnley school pupils publish book on climate crisis

School pupils in Burnley have written, illustrated and printed their own children’s book about the environment and deforestation.

Blessed Trinity Roman Catholic College’s Young Enterprise Club produced the book “Nature’s Pursuit” and will now share it primary schools.

Local Nature Recovery Strategy – have your say

Lancashire County Council is in the process of trying to get people’s views on Lancashire’s natural environment and the biggest environmental issues we face locally.

The consultation is in the form of an online engagement survey allowing the public to have their say on their priorities for nature across Burnley and the wider Lancashire area. There’s an interactive map you can put pins on to illustrate this.

The survey closes on 31st March.

Lancashire Youth Climate Conference

On 30th October LancsCAN will be holding the first ever Lancashire Youth Climate Conference.

The event will be held at Blackpool Sixth Form College. The conference will focus on developing and facilitating climate action projects run by young people in their schools, colleges, youth groups and wider communities. It will also help young people with the confidence, knowledge and skills needed for opportunities in sustainability-related career sectors.

This initial event is targeted at the 16-19 age group.

We are looking for groups of around four young people to attend from around 25 school sixth forms, colleges and youth groups.

If you are interested in bringing a group of young people, please complete this short survey by Friday 22nd March 2024.