Sustainability and Climate Change
Sustainability is a balance of environmental, social and economic goals. It involves everyone and is about achieving a better quality of life for people now and in the future.
Climate change has been described as the greatest environmental challenge facing the world today.
There is evidence to show that global temperatures are rising as a result of human activity and that this trend will continue unless we change the way we use resources.
What is climate change?
Energy from the sun passes through the atmosphere to warm the earth's surface. At the same time energy is also being released back through the atmosphere so that we experience a relatively constant temperature.
Some gases in the atmosphere (known as 'greenhouse gases') are able to absorb the energy that would otherwise pass through the atmosphere. If the balance of gases is altered so is the temperature at the earth's surface.
Over the last 200 years human activities have resulted in an increase in gases such as carbon dioxide. This has been linked with a rise in global temperatures.
Carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere every time we burn fuels such as petrol, diesel, gas, coal, oil and aviation fuel. The main sectors responsible for carbon dioxide are transport, the domestic sector (e,g, through heating and lighting our homes) and industry.
For other descriptions of climate change go to:
We can all act now to ensure a sustainable future, not only for ourselves, but for generations to come.
There are many easy steps you can take, but to start with, you can calculate your carbon footprint and access a unique action plan that's tailored to your lifestyle.
The Council has recently unveiled a new Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy which sets out our long term objectives and actions for the next three years.
This strategy includes a commitment to address climate change with actions including:
- Implementing an energy action plan for council managed buildings
- Meeting our commitments under the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change
- Developing a green travel plan for the council
- Raising awareness among the council's own workforce through our network of green champions
- Carrying out energy saving and other environmental campaigns
What can you do?
There are lots of things that YOU can do to reduce YOUR OWN environmental impact. You could:
- Walk or cycle instead of using your car for short journeys
- Choose a UK holiday instead of flying long distances
- Buy locally produced food
- Be energy aware and make sure you switch off all unnecessary lights and equipment in your home. Many electronic items use a significant amount of energy when they are in standby mode
- Defrost your fridge and freezer regularly so that they work as efficiently as possible.
- Only wash when you have a full load and use the lowest temperature wash
- Buy energy efficient lightbulbs. They can last up to 12 times longer than ordinary bulbs and replacing just one can reduce your lighting costs by up to £100 over the lifetime of the bulb.
- Air dry clothes whenever you can
- Choose appliances with a high energy efficiency rating. Visit the Energy Saving Trust's website for more information, a list of recommended appliances and lots more tips on how to save energy.
- You can also email the Lancashire Energy Efficiency Advice Centre or call them on 0800 512 012
To download a copy of the Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, please see the links below.
To find out more about some of the topics relating to sustainability please click the links on the right
For further information on sustainability you can email us or call 01772 625276
Last updated: 10 July 2007