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Tackling climate change in the borough of Rochdale


Climate emergency

In July 2019, Rochdale Borough Council declared a Climate Emergency. This means we believe climate change will impact the lives of everybody who lives and works in the borough of Rochdale unless we take action.

Climate change affects weather and can cause severe weather events. For Rochdale borough, climate change means more periods of water shortages and more frequent and intense storms increasing flooding events.

As a council, we have a responsibility to take meaningful action to reduce carbon emissions, alongside preparing the borough for the impacts of a changing climate.

Clean Air Day videos

Watch our Clean Air Day videos to hear about what we've been doing to tackle climate change in the borough and why it's so important.

Watch Clean Air Day 2021 part one video on YouTube (2mins 13secs)

Watch Clean Air Day 2021 part two video on YouTube (2mins 49secs)

Draft strategy for climate change

We've created a Climate Change Strategy in response to declaring a climate emergency. The strategy identifies the urgent action we need to take to achieve environmental sustainability.

Nature Recovery Plan

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) are creating a Nature Recovery Plan. It will be a blueprint for the future of Greater Manchester’s natural environment and local wildlife.

It will set out what needs to be done to restore declining species and habitats, and give nature the best chance to recover.

Our climate change target

Our ambitious climate change target is for the council and the borough of Rochdale to work towards being carbon neutral by 2038.

Our target has been set to match the target set for the whole of Greater Manchester.

What we've done so far

The climate change work we've done so far includes: 

  • Declared a climate emergency.
  • Drafted a strategy and started work on an action plan to set out what we actions we'll take and when.
  • Created the Climate Emergency Working Group to lead and make decisions about climate change.
  • Installed electric car charging spaces for public use.
  • Installed 2 solar-powered smart bins at Hollingworth Lake. The bins use a sensor to measure the amount of waste inside then squash the waste to around 70 per cent less volume. This allows more room and fewer empties than standard bins.
  • Put into place an electric scooter trial.
  • Secured funding and approval to build a solar farm on land near Heywood.
  • Applied for funding to decarbonise heat and improve energy efficiency in public buildings, leisure centres and schools.
  • Received a grant to improve wall insulation in 80 properties in the borough.
  • Created a green fleet of council vehicles by buying 12 fully-electric vans to replace diesel vans.
  • Put into place several environment strategies and plans.
  • Worked with other councils in Greater Manchester to develop a joint Clean Air Plan.
  • Followed guidance and actions set out in the Greater Manchester 5-Year Environment Plan.

Areas where we can do better

 In December 2019, Friends of the Earth said Rochdale borough needs to work on the following areas. You can see how we plan to target these areas in our Climate Change Strategy.

  • 10 stretches of road have nitrogen dioxide levels which may soon exceed the legal limit.
  • Only 37 per cent of homes are well insulated.
  • Only 12 per cent of people commute by public transport. Only 1 per cent cycle, 10 per cent walk and 12 per cent share their car.
  • Only 5 per cent of the area is woodland.
  • There are only 10 public electric vehicle charging points.
  • We only reuse, recycle or compost 48 per cent of household waste, on average.

Our carbon emissions

In 2020, the borough of Rochdale produced 1.25 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

The breakdown of these emissions is:

  • 54.6 per cent from transport
  • 23.9 per cent from housing
  • 18.4 per cent from industrial and commercial activities
  • 2.12 per cent from waste
  • 1 per cent from agriculture and land use

This data is taken from SCATTER (Setting City Area Targets and Trajectories for Emissions Reduction).


Corporate Policy Improvement and Performance Team
Floor 3
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU

Carbon neutrality explained

Rochdale Youth Parliament has created a video explaining important climate change terms, such as net zero targets, carbon neutrality and more.

Watch net zero targets video on YouTube (2mins 24secs)