Revealed: climate-friendly councils in the North West

3rd October 2019

Salford has topped the table of the most climate-friendly councils in the North West, according to new research by Friends of the Earth released today (Thursday 3 October) with Pendle and Ribble Valley councils not doing so well.

The green group assessed councils in different categories including renewable energy, public transport, lift-sharing, energy efficiency at home, waste recycling, and tree cover to find an overall winner.

Local authorities have an important and often over-looked role in cutting carbon emissions and solving the climate crisis, but most are doing far too little, and even the better performing ones can do much more. From eco-heating to e-bikes, from transport to tree planting, more can and should be done.

Full list of council performances including the North West

Find out how climate-friendly your local area is:

Only 32% of household waste is reused, recycled, or composted in Pendle, but to be on a path to zero waste, the council should have plans for 70% by 2025. One of the reasons for a lower score in the Ribble Valley was high car use, but with the right cycling infrastructure, 20% of commuter journeys in Ribble Valley could be by bike.

The new research means that anyone can look-up how climate-friendly their local authority is, how their area compares to similar places and what climate action is most needed.

Even the best performing councils need to do more if climate chaos is to be avoided, but local authorities right across the board will need more powers and finance alongside ramped-up government action.

Estelle Worthington, North West regional campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said:

“The bottom line is that we have to act in line with the scale of change needed because it’s our responsibility to hand on a better environment for the next generation.

“All local authorities however they are performing need to ramp up what they are doing. We know we are facing a climate and ecological emergency that threatens our existence and the natural word. If we want to change things for the better, let’s start at home.

“Creating cleaner and greener places to live means healthier, happier lives. It’s why local authorities in our region need to adopt really ambitious local climate action plans, with help from local communities. And national government needs to get in gear and support local authorities to take action.”

Friends of the Earth are channelling concern around climate breakdown into tangible solutions by supporting Climate Action Groups across the region.

This research empowers groups to work with councils to adopt a local Climate Action Plan.

Local authorities can’t do it all themselves, they need more powers and finance alongside government action. But by communities coming together to improve their local area, they can put pressure on the government to place the climate emergency at the front of all decision making: change starts at home.


For more information contact the Friends of the Earth press office on 020 7566 1649/07718 394786 (out of hours – please do not text this number)

Notes to editors:

  1. Friends of the Earth sourced data by local authority area on a range of issues relevant to climate change to assess how councils are performing:
  2. The majority of data is from official government sources. To see the full methodology, go to:
  3. To see how climate-friendly an area is, a postcode can be checked here:
  4. To find out more about Climate Action Groups go to:
  5. List of councils who have declared a climate emergency:
  6. Friends of the Earth is an international community dedicated to the protection of the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. We bring together more than two million people in 75 countries, combining people power all over the world to transform local actions into global impact. For more information visit: follow us at @friends_earth, or like our Facebook page.