One hundred local authorities across the country have been ordered to explain how they will tackle climate change in their official local plans or risk facing a legal challenge. Environmental law firm ClientEarth has today threatened legal action against councils across the country unless they set out how their local plans, which are currently under development, will ensure carbon emission cuts are delivered. ClientEarth said there is a “massive shortfall” in compliant local planning policy across the country, with many councils not meeting their legal obligation under UK planning and environmental legislation to deliver local plans with robust and evidence-based carbon targets. “There is a collective failure by local authorities across England to plan adequately for climate change,” said ClientEarth lawyer Sam Hunter Jones. “Too often climate change is perceived to be just a national or international issue and therefore solely the responsibility of central government.” Campaigners and business leaders are concerned local authorities frequently lack the money and expertise to turn such declarations into ambitious and credible decarbonisation strategies. Meanwhile, many councils – particularly in rural areas – have little to no meaningful plans to tackle emissions. From South Tyneside to Tunbridge Wells, ClientEarth has now written to all the councils in England currently developing new local plans to remind them of their legal obligations with regards the enivronmental component of their plans. The organisation said it will give them eight weeks to respond before considering any legal action.
Business Green 2nd Sept 2019 read more »