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Local government responds to government’s Net Zero Strategy

Local government has reacted to the government’s Net Zero Strategy, which was published yesterday.

The strategy backs a prominent role for local authorities in decarbonisation and announced that council funding for climate change actions will be simplified.

Commenting, the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Environment Spokesperson, Councillor David Renard said:
 
“As leaders of local communities, only councils can mobilise and join up the collective action to achieve net zero in our villages, towns and cities, and are able to impact on more than a third of local emissions through housing, transport and the natural environment.
 
“We are pleased the strategy recognises the importance of local government in delivering net zero and we look forward to working with the government through the Local Net Zero Forum to ensure all places have the powers and resources to reduce carbon emissions.
 
“We are calling on the government to follow today’s announcement by using next week’s Spending Review to begin work with councils and businesses on a national fiscal and policy framework to address the climate emergency.

“This will enable councils to deliver green local infrastructure projects, which our research has shown could generate 1.1 million local green jobs by 2050.”

Climate Change Spokesperson for the County Councils Network (CCN), Councillor Sam Corcoran added:

“Today’s Net Zero Strategy from the government is an important milestone for decarbonising the country. The document emphasises the important role of local authorities in helping to deliver net zero, but it lacks detail on whether any new grant funding to support councils is included within the strategy.

“New announcements on extra funding for people to retrofit their homes, to increase electric vehicle charging points and for greener infrastructure will all have a tangible impact.

"But the County Councils Network’s recent report on achieving net zero in county areas warned that emissions in rural and county areas were decreasing slower than other parts of the country and recommended a substantive increase in funding to address this.

“If the government is to hit its net zero target, it has a ready and willing partner in county authorities. But we cannot decarbonise on a shoestring and government needs to move away from what has been an overly city focused on reducing emissions. COP26 provides the perfect opportunity to reset the dial and focus on our county areas.

“In addition, we are pleased to see grants being made available for householders to install heat pumps, but the total amount of funding available appears inadequate to meet the government’s own targets in this area. In this area, we need clear and consistent policy supported by adequate funding to support communities and individuals to take personal action.”

Watch PSE’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Virtual Event on demand here.

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