Wiltshire is the most ‘climate-friendly’ council in England and Wales, according to Friends of the Earth.
The charity judged councils in different categories including renewable energy, public transport, lift-sharing, energy efficiency at home, waste recycling, and tree cover to find an overall winner.
Spelthorne, Ribble Valley and Pendle were joint bottom.
Wiltshire Council was one of the first authorities to declare a ‘climate emergency’ in February and have also pledged to be 100% carbon neutral by 2030.
The new research also enables people to look up how climate-friendly their local authority is, how their area compares to similar places, and find out what climate action is most needed in their area.
Several local authorities across the country have now declared climate emergencies and announced local carbon reduction targets.
Greater Manchester and London have committed to net zero emissions targets by 2038, while Bristol and Leeds are aiming for 2030 and Nottingham for 2028.
Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth chief executive, said: ‘All local authorities, even the best performing, need to ramp up what they are doing. We know we are facing a climate and ecological emergency that threatens our existence and the natural world. If we want to change things for the better, let’s start at home.
‘Doing things right now about climate change isn’t just good news for future generations and people most vulnerable to an erratic climate, it’s good for everyone. Creating cleaner and greener places to live means healthier, happier lives.
‘It’s why local authorities need to take the lead by adopting ambitious local climate action plans, and who better to help them than communities.’
Last month, Environmental law firm ClientEarth wrote to over 100 local authorities across England, warning them that they will violate their legal obligations and risk legal challenge if they do not introduce ‘proper’ climate change plans.
The letter has been sent to every council that is currently developing a new local plan, giving them eight weeks to explain how they will set evidence-based carbon reduction targets and ensure these targets are then central to their new planning policy.
These duties include setting targets and policies based on the local potential to reduce emissions, and that are at least in line with the UK’s Climate Change Act.
ClientEarth says that for carbon targets to be ‘meaningful’, they need to be incorporated into local planning policy as a core objective against which all other policies and decisions will be tested.
They also say local planning authorities also need to monitor performance against local targets at least annually.
Top 10 most ‘climate-friendly’ councils
Isle of Wight
Somerset West and Taunton
Basingstoke and Deane
View the full table here.
Photo Credit – Pixabay