Since the LGA declared a climate emergency last July, we have been collating best practice from councils and have set up a climate change ‘hub’ of resources (see www.local.gov.uk/climate-change).
Work around the country is gathering pace and it was inspiring to see many of you as I opened the LGA’s first climate emergency conference in January.
The urgency to tackle climate change was well outlined, as was the need to include the whole life impact of what we use, not just the part as it passes through the council, or indeed through the UK.
The irony of reducing a council’s own carbon footprint while giving permission for huge numbers of houses and tarmac has yet to be resolved, but many councils are already rewriting local plans, challenging the rate and types of housing built, and enabling new pocket housing with high levels of insulation.
At the European Local Government conference in Orléans, there was a commitment to work collaboratively to tackle the global targets we share. The European Green Deal is coming forward and we will be taking your views to the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR).
I represent all 100,000 local authorities of Europe as the CEMR’s Environment Spokesperson. Let’s see what we can do in our own patches and, working with others, across the globe to stem the crisis we face.
Our free LGA Independent Group conference on the climate emergency is on 14 February. Do come along, and also respond to our short survey on what’s happening in your area (see www.local.gov.uk/lga-independent for both).