The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) has published its latest analysis of best practice in the delivery of local, decentralised low carbon programmes by Councils across the UK and Ireland following on from the calling of ‘climate emergencies’ at the national and the local level. Over 90 Councils in the UK and Ireland have now declared ‘climate emergencies’ with many more Councils also making pledges on the date when they will seek to be ‘zero carbon’ towns, cities or counties. The NFLA report considers how these laudable aims fit in with strategic and well considered plans to achieve such an objective. The report highlights information from the Greater London Authority and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority that clearly shows that ‘business as usual’ work to achieve zero carbon aims in such a short time frame will be insufficient, so the report tries to highlight the best practice out there to move Councils further and more quickly forward. The report also says there is an urgent need for greater resources from central government to realise such aims at the local level and deliver ‘zero carbon’ Councils. With UK Government support for energy efficiency and small-scale renewables reducing or stopping entirely, local authorities face a challenging national policy background in meeting any zero carbon targets set as a result of climate emergency resolutions – whether it is for 2030 or 2050. Despite the difficulties, ‘climate emergency’ resolutions are a clear declaration of the seriousness of the issue and the determination of local authorities do everything in their power to achieve reductions in carbon emissions. The NFLA report argues that the large number of declarations being made should be followed by the generation of some clear policy actions. It also asks central government to facilitate further delegation of powers; the creation of incentives, direct funding and so on that can start to unlock more local actions across the board.
NFLA 7th May 2019 read more »