RESIDENTS in Chester are being offered an opportunity to join the fight against climate change.
The city council has launched an online service, CRed, which allows users to keep track of their carbon emissions and make pledges to reduce their impact on the environment.
The pledges operate on a sliding scale - from using energy-saving lightbulbs to buying an electric car.
Cllr Robert Jordan, portfolio holder for the environment, expressed his pride that Chester is taking an international lead on reducing carbon emissions.
He said: 'I've already made a commitment to install three low-energy light bulbs, I'm thinking of introducing house insulation and I've also been looking at wind turbines.
'Climate change is the most important challenge that we are facing. It affects everybody, not just our children but every generation.'
As part of the CRed launch event, businesses and community leaders were invited to an exclusive screening of Al Gore's acclaimed film, An Inconvenient Truth, which highlights the threat climate change poses society.
This was followed by a short conference outlining the social and business impacts of global warming.
Residents were able to sign up for CRed and view a special 'going carbon neutral' exhibition.
The event at Chester Town Hall included Chester's first green car show, displaying some of the environmentally friendly cars on the market today.
The event's main sponsor was RSK ENSR, based in Helsby.
'We decided to fund the project in response to our internal corporate responsibility survey, which highlighted staff concerns about climate change,' said RSK ENSR chairman, Dr Alan Ryder.
'We hope our funding will inspire other businesses to join forces with local communities to tackle this major threat to our way of life.'
Marcus Armes, from the University of East Anglia's environmental sciences department, helped develop Chester's CRed system, which is based on an existing service offered to residents in Norfolk.
He said: 'After three years of the project, we have about 3,000 households signed up in Norfolk.
'And we have noticed a steep climb in the number of people in recent months.
'Pressure for change is coming from the grass roots - it hasn't come from scientific companies but from people who are generally concerned and are seeing the effects of climate change more and more on their everyday lives.'
The conference also heard from Dr Roy Alexander, from the University of Chester's geography and development studies department.
His students will be making an important contribution to maintaining the CRed system.
* City residents can access CRed at www.cred-uk.org or write to Cllr Jordan, Chester City Council, The Forum, Chester CH1 2HS.