The UK will fail to meet its 2050 net-zero target without the full participation and support of local authorities, warns the Blueprint Coalition.
The Blueprint Coalition, which is made up of local government organisations, environmental NGOs and academics have highlighted five priorities for action:
- Invest more in low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure
- Prioritise reskilling and retraining for green jobs
- Invest more in retrofitting homes, with social housing a priority
- Make it easy for people to walk, cycle and work remotely
- Accelerate tree planting, peatland restoration and enhancing green spaces
This coalition has highlighted that councils have a key role in fighting the climate crisis due to their responsibilities in areas like transport, housing and managing green spaces. But they are also underfunded and under-resourced.
Therefore the coalition has said that they must be given more funding and powers by central government to enable them to unlock action at the scale and pace needed to address the climate and ecological emergencies.
Sandra Bell, campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: ‘The role that councils played with their rapid response plans was evident during the Covid-19 pandemic, and they must now be empowered to do the same for the climate crisis.
‘The national, legally binding, target for net-zero by 2050 will be missed unless Westminster gets behind local solutions to the climate crisis by giving more funding and support to councils. Local action must form a key part of fixing the climate crisis, and also in delivering a green and fair recovery from Covid that benefits all communities.’
ADEPT President, Nigel Riglar added: ‘ADEPT has welcomed government recognition that our economic recovery from Covid-19 has to be green, but this requires investment in people and place, as well as technological innovation.
‘The only way to achieve this is to empower and resource local authorities, working in partnerships with business, communities, partners and supply chains, to deliver local solutions across our places. Environment, economy, health and wellbeing, inclusivity and addressing the climate crisis are all inextricably linked, so action has to take place at the local level now if we are to meet the net-zero target.’
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