BLACKBURN with Darwen Council became the latest local authority to declare a climate emergency.

And members vowed to do everything in their power to become carbon neutral by 2030.

A motion put before council forum, by resources chief Cllr Andy Kay, was approved.

He warned members' urgent action was needed to address a global climate emergency.

Cllr Kay said: "It would take a very dedicated ostrich to stick its head in the sand and not realise the problems we are facing.

“Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world.

"There is no doubt the world is facing a climate emergency and there is equally no doubt that the impact of austerity is making it harder.

"To have an effect on our future, we have got to act smarter.

"We must address important issues as well as look at recycling and our energy use.

"There are 115 top and second-tier councils across the UK signed up."

Tory group leader Cllr John Slater said: "It really is time for action - we can't leave it any longer. We need to have a grown up conversation about sustainability. Being carbon neutral is not going to come cheap but it's something we have to do. If we're serious, we need action now."

Cllr Denise Gee added: "We have abused the earth and the environment to a point where I am ashamed but we have to make strong decisions to have a robust path to follow which will deliver for the people of the borough.

"It's 2020 next year and we are looking at 2030 for this to be delivered - there are huge challenges to be met."

The council's decision follows in the footsteps of counterparts in Burnley.

Burnley Council recently passed a similar motion by the Green Party, with the wheels now in motion to create a mixed working group of residents and councillors to help guide the council towards greener initiatives and make sure residents are involved in the process of bringing about changes in their area.

Cllr Kay added: "“Individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, and infrastructure to make low carbon living easier and the new norm.

“Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption.

“Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has already made some positive progress, but this is not enough. More can and must be done."