Locally Led Climate Action

Communities, Local Action

Locally led climate action is being advocated by The Local Government Association (LGA) who have recently written…The impact of local climate action can be enormous, and local authorities are united in the call for devolved approaches that realise this potential.

Tackling climate change is one of the biggest threats facing our communities and ranks high in peoples’ priorities. Eight in 10 people are concerned by it, three quarters want to deliver net zero by 2050, and half want to bring that target forward. Councils recognise the urgency and scale of this challenge, with over 300 declaring climate emergencies. 

Councils have some impact on over 80 per cent of an areas’ emissions, and direct impact over a third of emissions given their central role in housing, transport and energy.  While national action is essential in setting the framework and taking the big decisions, the complexity of transition in our 51 cities, 935 towns and 6,000 villages cannot be managed from a desk in Whitehall.

The impact can be enormous. The Government’s own research found that local climate action would achieve net zero by 2050 for half the cost of national approach and deliver three times the financial returns and wider benefits. 

Local government is united in the call for devolved approaches to give locally led climate actions that realises this potential. But unfortunately, it is still unclear how councils fit into the national plan for net zero. Councils receive no core funding for climate action, and are forced to compete for short-term pots of funding that come and go over time, taking up resources and creating uncertainty. We want to bring local and national government together to back local climate action, by:
 Putting in place a national climate action framework with policy, regulatory, and investment certainty up to 2050, with set milestones and a clear role for councils leading local climate action. 
 Providing all councils with adequate and stable core funding to take forward climate action across their own services and multi-year place-based funding allocations to lead decarbonisation across their areas 
 Introducing a local climate action test ensuring all government policy and funding decisions – from housing to skills – contribute to locally led climate action. 

Responding to the National Audit Office report on decarbonising home heating Councillor Darren Rodwell, environment spokesperson for the LGA said: “Decarbonising homes and other buildings will play a huge role in achieving national net zero ambitions, but it is clear that the current approach is not working. “It is now time to shift to a locally led approach, which would mean councils can target the homes that need the support most, while working with local businesses to build skills and growth.”

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