A BOLD commitment to see Cheshire East Council become carbon neutral by 2025 has been agreed.

At Wednesday’s full council meeting, members of all political persuasions were unanimous in supporting the council’s climate emergency declaration, proposed by newly-elected leader Cllr Sam Corcoran, Labour.

In doing so, the council has committed to becoming carbon neutral in just six years, while an environmental strategy for the borough is set to be brought forward and CEC will encourage businesses, residents and organisations to reduce their carbon footprint.

Cllr Corcoran said: “Make no mistake – this is an emergency. Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our generation and for too long we have failed to rise to that challenge.

“The climate is already changing – polar ice sheets are melting and sea levels are rising. Some of the beautiful coral reefs that I saw 35 years ago are dead. We need to act now.”

Cllr Quentin Abel, independent member for Knutsford, is set to assist Cllr Nick Mannion, new cabinet member for the environment, in his portfolio.

“Climate change is happening and it is accelerating,” he said.

“We need a common approach. This must be joined up and involve the whole council – members and officers. New thinking and flexibility of ideas is needed.”

The commitment to make CEC carbon neutral by 2025 was made by the Conservative Party in its local election manifesto.

Cllr Tony Dean, Conservative member for Knutsford, supported the climate declaration – but warned against ‘unintended consequences’ if policies are not completely thought through.

The former Environment Agency director said: “It is worth noting Gordon Brown’s endorsement of the diesel car due to its lower carbon dioxide emissions – a policy which has now come back to bite us due to the extra pollution these engines create.”

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The CEC call comes three weeks after Parliament passed a climate emergency declaration with cross-party support, while neighbouring Cheshire West and Chester Council also declared a climate emergency on Tuesday night.