A Bolton councillor and a climate change organisation have called for more from the government to tackle climate change, following the impact of the recent heatwave.

Last Monday, temperatures soared to 33C in Bolton, reaching a high of 37C on Tuesday.

The high temperatures led to the Met Office issuing red weather warnings across the UK.

And temperatures across southern parts of the country reached above 40C for the first time ever on Tuesday.

Elizabeth Shepherd, a member of Friends of the Earth’s Bolton branch, has said that the recent heatwave is “yet another indication that climate change is not a problem for the future but is happening now”.

She says that the ‘technological solutions’ are there, but that we “lack the political will to make the rapid changes that the situation calls for”.

The Bolton News: Credit (PA)Credit (PA)

Elizabeth added: “Changes such as insulating every home, which would help to keep the heat out in summer, as well as reducing the amount of gas we burn in the winter.

“We should be increasing all sources of renewable energy including onshore wind and rooftop solar and upgrading the grid to accommodate them.

“More urban green spaces and trees would help to cool our towns and cities.

“The heatwave vindicates the resent campaigns in Bolton to save various parks from being built on.

“But Bolton needs more green spaces, the provision of which must be an essential part of our adaptation to our rapidly changing climate."

Comparisons have been made on social media to the heatwave experienced in the UK in 1976, which suggests the severity of the recent heatwave is being exaggerated.

Cllr Martin McMulkin, who is the shadow for climate change in Bolton, recalled the 1976 heatwave as a teenager, which he says, “seemed great”, but that nobody mentioned “the 20 per cent increase in excess deaths widely attributed to the extreme heat during the heat wave”.

The Bolton News: Credit (PA)Credit (PA)

He added: “What we are now experiencing in the UK is unprecedented and will become the norm.

“It is happening right across the globe.”

Cllr McMulkin warned that this was just the start of what could happen in the future if more isn’t done from the government.

He added: “It will ultimately bring about crop failure, famine, rising sea levels, and the subsequent migration of people displaced on a scale unseen.

“I know some will say I'm scare mongering but, these are the facts.

“Facts which can be addressed if politicians have the political will to do so.

“It’s time politicians acted in the interest of the people and future generations rather than the corporations, fossil fuel lobbyists and the deluded billionaires who think their wealth will protect them from extinction with the rest of us.”

David Barnes, a member of the Bolton Forum for Greenspace also remembered the mid-70s heatwave, and says that we will continue to see a lot more "extreme weather".

He said: “I remember the two successive years of heatwave and drought in the mid-70s, but the difference now is that it is difficult not to be worried that we are going to see a lot more extreme weather conditions of all sorts which will severely test the resilience of people and wildlife.”

Climate change, which has pushed up global temperatures by 1.2C on pre-industrial levels, is making heatwaves longer, more intense and more likely.

Scientists have echoed this and said it would be “virtually impossible” for the UK to have experienced temperatures reaching 40C without human-driven global warming.

Following the conclusion of the COP26 summit last year, during a press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson highlighted the commitment made to reduce the impact of climate change, including putting a stop to financial support for all overseas fossil fuel projects later this year.

Mr Johnson said: “We’ve heard about the peril we face if we fail.

“We’ve heard from the individuals who are already living with the effects.

“Almost 200 countries have put their name to the Glasgow Climate Pact, marking a decisive shift in the world’s approach to tackling carbon emissions, setting a clear roadmap to limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees and marking the beginning of the end for coal power.

“Because for the first time ever a UN climate change conference has delivered a mandate to cut the use of coal for power generation.

“Over 130 countries have signed up to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030 – between them they’re home to more than 90 per cent of the world’s forests.”