Blackburn with Darwen has been crowned as a climate action leader by international environmental impact non-profit CDP, which is the highest rating possible.

The borough earned the top score along with 118 other global cities and areas, for going the extra mile with its climate action plan, which includes working with residents through the people’s jury on the climate change crisis.

Only 13 per cent of cities or boroughs that were scored in 2023 received an A score – and Blackburn with Darwen is up there with Paris, Barcelona and Stockholm, as well as Dundee and Wakefield, in getting the top award.

CDP’s A list is designed to encourage and support places to ramp up their climate action and ambition, based on environmental data sent to the organisation.

To score an A, among other actions, a place must have a city-wide emissions register and must have published a climate action plan.

It must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and have a climate adaptation goal to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards.

CDP, originally the Carbon Disclosure Project, is a global and non-profit charity that runs the world’s disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to assess their environmental impact and drive the urgent action needed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard water resources and protect forests and woods.  

Blackburn with Darwen, and the other 118 places on this year’s A list, are also celebrated for showing that urgent and impactful climate action, from ambitious emissions reduction targets to building resilience against climate change, is achievable at a global level, and in cities with different climate realities and priorities.

Councillor Phil Riley, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “We are really pleased to be recognised in this prestigious category.

"Commitment to the tackling climate change and improving our environment is at the heart of the work we do in Blackburn with Darwen.

“It is a matter of huge importance particularly in terms of the kind of world that we want to hand on to future generations and we are proud to have been recognised as taking such bold action.

“While we know we can only directly control our own climate actions, we are working hard to cut emissions, make our buildings more energy efficient and improving our air quality, among many other actions.

“Our climate emergency action plan is ambitious and wide-reaching but this award shows that we are already making a difference.

"We know there is a long way to go, but we are determined to keep working with everyone across the borough to make sure all our residents have a cleaner and healthier future in Blackburn with Darwen.”

The council has outlined its climate goals as part of its corporate plan, including:

  • Introducing new guidance around accounting for carbon emissions in departmental decision making processes.
  • Working with procurement teams to co-ordinate environmental questions asked of suppliers during the tendering process.
  • Introducing energy efficiency measures in all council buildings and property.
  • Investing in further LED lighting for all remaining streets.
  • Increasing recycling rates from 30 per cent to 65 per cent by 2030.