Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, is at COP26 In Glasgow and gives her thoughts on the critical climate change conference


When I look out of my office window on the Liverpool waterfront, I see 32 wind turbines far out at sea, harnessing the power of the wind and turning it into electricity to be used in our homes. 

While projects like this and others around the UK have been a step in the right direction in the fight to save our planet, it has only just scratched the surface. We have now reached crisis point and have already seen floods, storms, droughts and wildfires across the world this year. Extreme weather is becoming the norm and time is running out.

So next week I’ll be heading to COP26 in Glasgow to meet with leaders, innovators and organisations to enter into discussions and to learn from each other. But it can’t be just talk, it needs to result in action.

I have always felt passionately about climate change and I know Liverpool needs to be bold in its actions. From the minute I became Mayor, I knew I had to implement something fundamental that would put climate change front and centre of what we did. That is what my triple-lock approach ensures, that every decision we make will be scrutinised, to ensure it is measured against our net zero target.

As a port city, living with, and adapting to climate change is something we need to be ready for. And the council has been hard at work, cutting 840,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere since 2005 and planting more than half a million trees in the past 25 years.

We only buy green energy, have so far installed 27,000 LED lights across the city and have introduced low emission vehicles into our fleet. We are also a major partner in the URBAN GreenUP project, which has introduced floating islands, living walls, pollinator posts and new drainage systems across the city.

The Development Zone next to Festival Gardens is currently Britain’s biggest land reclamation site and a former landfill tip. We are currently excavating decades of waste and 95% of this will be recycled. It is hoped that this will pave the way, subject to planning permission, to a new development of eco-friendly homes.

But much more is needed if we are to reach our net zero target and we need to explore alternative options for affordable, sustainable energy.

A recent visit to a waste plant in Denmark inspired me to think about our waste strategy here in Liverpool and it’s an area where I feel we could have a huge opportunity to work across the region to develop a waste strategy, meet our net zero targets, create jobs and handle waste more effectively.

Copenhagen has only 2% residual waste. Their Copenhill facility uses a huge incinerator to burn waste which then produces heat and electricity, and omits clean air. Copenhill is about to launch the world’s first ‘carbon capture’ facility making it one of the cleanest waste energy plants in the world.

I see COP26 as an opportunity for us to learn from each other and to be inspired about what is possible. I am interested to visit stalls such as the one that is showcasing the first UK project to take heat for heating homes from the river heat. The Mersey is a huge natural resource that has great potential for the future.

The luxury of having time has passed and we all have an individual as well as collective responsibility to act – fast. We have a very brief window of time to turn the tide on this crisis, and be proud of the legacy we leave future generations.

Air Quality

Our handy map makes it easy to see what the current and historic air pollution levels are like in your area by bringing you the very latest information from air quality monitoring conducted by Liverpool City Council and Defra.

Screenshot of live air quality map

Image above is visual only. Click link to see live map. Air quality levels in Liverpool sourced from Liverpool City Council  and Defra.
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