A NEW climate action plan outlining ways BCP Council will meet its 2030 target to be carbon neutral has been backed by councillors.

The 153-measure strategy was approved almost unanimously on Tuesday and will now go out for public consultation.

Cabinet member for the environment, councillor Felicity Rice, said the council would now be “as ambitious and creative as possible”.

“The challenges ahead cannot be underestimated but the benefits of creating positive change are life-changing for future generations,” she said.

“As the 12th-largest unitary authority in the UK, we are keen to lead the way when it comes to thinking about the climate in everything we do, with all our residents, and that includes creating a thriving green economy.”

The action plan – currently at a draft stage – has been put together by the council following its July climate emergency declaration.

It includes measures such as purchasing land for "large-scale" renewable energy developments and encouraging the roll-out of hydrogen or electric-powered taxis.

Put forward by Green councillors Simon Bull and Chris Rigby, the plan commits the council to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

The document outlines 153 actions the council will investigate as part of its work to meet the target.

Considering it at Tuesday’s meeting of the council, councillors spoke of the need to step up work “to protect future generations”.

Liberal Democrat councillor Tony Trent said: “This is one of the most important things facing this council ever.

“There’s a danger that people will pick off these measures one at a time and we have to make sure we look at the uncomfortable things too.”

Conservative group leader councillor Bob Lawton said he “fully supported” efforts to tackle the climate emergency, despite saying he found the suggestion of the introduction of congestion charges as “a little odd”.

Proposals, including the allocation of £240,000 to fund the first phases of work, were backed by all but one councillor.

Ukip councillor Diana Butler abstained, saying she was concerned about its deliverability given the number of measures put forward.

The public consultation is expected to start in the new year.