The government must recognise the key role of local authorities in tackling the climate crisis, says coalition.
The report, which has been published by local government, environmental and research organisations calls for urgent powers and resources for local authorities to tackle the climate crisis.
Decarbonising sectors such as housing and transport will be much harder than decarbonising the power sector, and achieving this will require significant behavioural changes.
The report highlights that local governments are best placed to change this due to their close relationship with local communities.
Local authorities also have control over key sectors such as transport planning, waste management, economic regeneration, land use planning and regulation of energy efficiency standards.
They also have influence over emissions through their procurement, which was worth at least £63bn in 2019/20 and accounts for 70-80% of an individual council’s carbon footprint.
Based on this, the report calls on the government to adopt four key priorities:
Paula Hewitt, President of The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) said: ‘The government will not meet its targets without the work of local authorities, and we want to ensure the transition to a low carbon society is just.
‘As leaders in our areas, we bring together partnerships from across different sectors, as well as our communities, businesses, suppliers, strategic bodies and the voluntary sector. No one else has the reach, the levels of trust or ability to provide targeted support that will encourage and enable behavioural change. We have already started this work as our case studies show. What we need now is the recognition and resource to go further, faster.’
Photo by Gary Butterfield