Wiltshire has been named the most climate-friendly council in England and Wales, according to research that has assessed local authorities’ energy, transport and recycling plans. Friends of the Earth, which carried out the research using official data, says local authorities have vital but often overlooked role to play in tackling climate change. The data excludes Scotland. Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth’s chief executive, said: “All local authorities, even the best performing, need to ramp up what they are doing. We are facing a climate and ecological emergency that threatens our existence and the natural word. “If we want to change things for the better, we have to start at home.” Wiltshire Council, a unitary authority, has declared a climate emergency and has major plans to increase the use renewable energy in its buildings and replacing its vehicle fleet with electric wagons as part of plans to be carbon neutral by 2030. It scored 92 per cent in the Friends of the Earth’s climate change league table and was closely followed by the Isle of Wight, Northumberland, Somerset West and Taunton, Basingstoke and Deane, and Camden in London. At the bottom of the table were three authorities that scored just 40 percent – Pendle and the Ribble Valley, both in Lancashire, and Spelthorne in Surrey. Authorities were given points for issues including household energy efficiency, eco-heating, renewable energy, public transport usage, the number of electric vehicle chargers, lift-sharing, tree cover and the recycling and composting of household waste.
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