Colourful overlapping silhouettes of politicians during a TV Election Debate

Party politics put aside for climate action

With local elections looming around the country, council leaders from England’s four major political parties have come together to show unity over climate action.

Coming as a show of ‘unprecedented’ cross-party unity, local leaders from the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, and Green parties are putting climate action over party politics, to ensure that the increase wave of local climate misinformation is subdued. This move comes thanks to the ‘Taking the heat out of local climate action’ pledge that is being gathered by UK100 (a cross-party network of local leaders that are committed to environmental actions) and the Mission Zero Coalition.

The pledge is open to signatures now and has already brought together leaders such as Cllr Richard Clewer (Conservative Leader of Wiltshire Council), Cllr Bev Craig (Labour Leader of Manchester City Council), Cllr Tim Adams (Liberal Democrat Leader of North Norfolk District Council), and Cllr Zoe Nicholson (Green Party Leader of Lewes District Council).

Public Sector Executive Climate Action quote

Wiltshire Council Leader and UK100 Co-President, Richard Clewer, commented:

“Achieving net zero will require significant changes, but bringing residents and businesses along with us in an open and honest conversation is essential. Wiltshire is ready to lead the way in engaging communities as partners in climate action.”

By signing the pledge, local leaders are committing to a number of measures, including:

  • Championing climate action as an issue that is bigger than party politics, and a recognition that it requires a collaborative approach
  • Supporting a climate conversation that is evidence-based, by tackling misinformation and promoting the benefits of climate policies whilst addressing genuine concerns
  • Working in partnership with the government, businesses, and civil society to help deliver inclusive and equitable solutions
  • Engaging with residents, civil society, and businesses to co-design local climate action plans
  • Scrutinising climate action with an understanding that learning and advancing progress is a shared goal that comes through improving delivery.

Thanks to the new ‘Zero In – Accelerating Local Climate Action’ report from UK100, there are warnings that a rise in misinformation and wavering support in the government could lead to net zero and climate projects being a deciding factor in many of the local elections in May. Former Energy Minister, and Chair of the Independent Review of Net Zero and Mission Zero Coalition, Chris Skidmore OBE spoke at the launch of the pledge:

“Local authorities are the unsung heroes of the Net Zero transition. Day in, day out they are delivering the practical changes we need to see, from upgrading homes to improving public transport.

“But they can’t do it alone. This pledge sends a powerful message that local leaders are united in their commitment to tackling the climate crisis. Now we need to see that same spirit of collaboration from Westminster, with a clear policy and funding framework to empower local delivery.”

Other leaders that have offered their support to the pledge include those form Lancaster, Southampton, Westminster, and Cardiff.

 

Image credit: iStock

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