A new coalition of charities and organisations are calling on the government to support local authorities to deliver climate action at a local level.
The coalition, which includes groups Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Grantham Institute at Imperial College and the London Environment Directors’ Network have written a letter to the Prime Minister to highlight the vital role of local authorities in addressing the impacts of climate change.
In the letter, they argue that the UK’s net-zero by 2050 target can only be reached with the contribution of councils working at a local level.
They state that high carbon activities are not fit for the future and that public money should not be used to go back to business as usual.
Instead, they argue that the fundamental role of local councils in tackling the climate and ecological crises must be recognised and supported nationally.
Councils’ have a unique knowledge of local communities, businesses and places and their service delivery and regulatory functions will enable them to drive carbon emissions reductions across their whole area.
To support this change, the coalition is calling on the government to commit to 5 actions:
- Create a joined-up, multi-billion pound place-based clean infrastructure fund.
- Join up the National Skills Fund, the National Retraining Scheme and the Apprenticeship Levy at a local level to support retraining and research for a net-zero economy.
- Establish a programme to retrofit the UK’s building stock with energy and water efficiency and low carbon heating.
- Enable local authorities to increase home working, cycling and walking provision
- Speed up delivery of the £800m Nature for Climate Fund
Sandra Bell, a policy analyst at Friends of the Earth said: ‘While we grapple with the fallout from COVID-19 the climate crisis has not gone away, neither has the urgent need to restore nature. It is not possible to deal with these issues without the full involvement of local communities and councils.
‘But councils don’t have the powers and resources they need and are having to operate with one arm tied behind their back. This report identifies the immediate changes needed to unleash the energy and creativity that exists at a local level to begin rebuilding our economy and fixing our pushed-to-the-limit planet.’
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