Climate emergency

Bolton Council declared a climate emergency in 2019. This section contains some information about what this means for Bolton and what we can do to address it.

The climate emergency has a number of potential impacts for population health. This includes direct health impacts (e.g. from heat, flooding, or air pollution) and from the impact of responses to mitigate the climate emergency. These indirect impacts could have positive health impacts e.g. if a reduction in use of private motor vehicles is replaced by an increase in walking, cycling, and other types of active travel; or if a reduction in consumption of meat and other carbon intensive foods is replaced by people eating more fruit and vegetables. However indirect impacts could also be negative such as if regressive forms of carbon taxation increase social inequalities.

Bolton's climate strategy

CO2 emissions

The largest source of CO2 emissions for Bolton is transport, followed by domestic usage. Emissions on minor roads are responsible for the largest part of the overall transport emissions and have risen in recent years. Transport overall has shown only small reductions, although as other large contributors have fallen transport now makes up a larger proportion of total emissions in Bolton than in any previous year for which this data is available.

Domestic emissions have shown strong reductions in recent years, driven by reductions in domestic electricity usage, but domestic gas usage is the biggest contributor to domestic emissions as a whole.

In Bolton, domestic gas, road transport on minor roads, and road transport on motorways are all responsible for more CO2 emissions than the industrial, commercial, and public sectors as a whole. Transport on minor roads and A roads (which are the responsibility of the council) together produce 30% of the borough's CO2 emissions.

Source of data: UK local authority and regional carbon dioxide emissions (National Statistics): Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Further useful links

  • Place based carbon calculator - estimates the average carbon footprint per person for LSOAs (small administrative areas) in England. The tool counts emissions in the location they are consumed rather than produced.
  • Climate emergency slide pack - a summary of local authority level data related to the climate emergency, prepared by Trafford Data Lab.
  • Climate Emergency UK bringing together resources local authorities can use to deliver on their climate commitments, including a check list of what makes a good action plan.
  • Discourses of climate delay - a proposed framework to describe narratives behind the gap between policy aspirations and implementation.

Air quality

Poor air quality is associated with a number of adverse health impacts. It is recognised as a contributing factor in the onset of heart disease and cancer. Additionally, air pollution particularly affects the most vulnerable in society: children and older people, and those with heart and lung conditions. There is also often a strong correlation with equalities issues, because areas with poor air quality are also often the less affluent areas.

Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) are areas that are likely to exceed the national air quality objective for a specific pollutant. Bolton has an AQMA which is now part of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority AQMA. Bolton Council works with Clean Air GM on improving local air quality. Long term trends show that there has been an improvement in air quality but areas still remain above the annual mean air quality objective for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

Greater Manchester’s Air Quality Action Plan identifies the following broad actions to improve air quality:

  • Development management and planning regulation: including standardisation of regulation and policy across the Greater Manchester region.
  • Freight and HGVs: there are several opportunities to reduce emissions associated with the movement of freight and goods by road.
  • Buses: Buses have a vital role to play in transporting the public and give opportunities to improve air quality. New legislative developments, the creation of the future Greater Manchester bus strategy and improvements to vehicle standards will all assist in ensuring that bus continues to play a vital role into the future, carrying the majority of public transport journeys made within the conurbation.
  • Cycling: Existing strategies and initiatives encourage cycling.
  • Travel Choices: Encouraging the public and businesses to make sustainable travel choices.
  • Cars: Measures to reduce emissions from cars and reduce the number of vehicle trips.
  • Information and resources: Education and the provision of information to the public, businesses and policy makers.


Further useful links


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Natural environment

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Skills, employment, and innovation

Content coming soon.