A referendum will be held on whether a local authority should increase council tax to fund a programme tackling climate change.

Warwick District Council’s Climate Action Now (CAN) programme aims to make the council carbon-neutral by 2025 and the district carbon-neutral by 2030.

It needs to raise £3 million a year to fund the plan – which would mean raising council tax by the equivalent of £1 per week for a Band D household.

People from the district’s main towns of Leamington, Warwick, Whitnash and Kenilworth, as well as nearby villages, will be asked to approve the programme at the ballot box on May 7.

The CAN programme would see an improvement on the efficiency of the district’s homes, create a new sustainable transport policy to reduce congestion and air pollution and enhance the environment through tree planting schemes and the creation of green spaces.

Council leader Andrew Day said the vote was an “incredible chance” for the district’s residents to become the first in the country to take decisive action against climate change at a local level.

“The time to do something about climate change isn’t in a few years’ time – it’s right now,” he said.

“We’ve declared a climate emergency, and we now need to take urgent action to help turn the tide against climate change by becoming carbon neutral.”

He added that all parties put aside all their differences to come together to support the “ambitious” plan because climate change is “more important than political disagreements”.

The council voted unanimously on Wednesday night to put the plan to a vote.