The Covid vaccine rollout has shown the power of trusting local actors to achieve a national target. The same could be true of the energy transition. As part of our Countdown to COP series, David Blackman explores ways of driving net zero forward at grassroots level. Many councils lack the basic levers to turn their admirable ambitions into practical policy. This is especially true of overstretched authorities in poorer areas whose budgets simply can’t accommodate dedicated teams for decarbonisation. There are fears this could lead to a “postcode lottery” of action on climate change and a staggered approach to decarbonisation based on means rather than need. There is also a concern that local climate change policy is not always being compiled with input from utilities. As Randolph Brazier of the Energy Networks Association points out in our analysis, all too often networks find out about projects at “the 11th hour”. The Energy Systems Catapult has called for a consistent net zero planning framework for local authorities to allow them to develop their own plans. This a sensible step but utilities must be involved in the process every step of the way.
Utility Week 25th June 2021 read more »