Councils spearheading climate change effort

Reducing food waste, installing electric vehicle charge points and protecting communities against flooding are among the many ways councils are leading the national response to climate change.

Ahead of last month’s Earth Day (22 April), the LGA collated and published new statistics shining a light on councils’ work on everything from waste collection and transport, to electric vehicles and parks, highlighting the huge steps being taken to cut carbon emissions and protect the environment.

For example, in 2019/20, councils collected more than 15.5 million tonnes of waste and recycling, reusing or composting – equivalent to almost 1.2 million double decker buses.

Reducing food waste has saved UK citizens more than £1 billion per year compared with 2015, according to a report from charity Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

Councils have installed more than 17,000 electric vehicle charging devices across England, and in 2019/20 spent just under £40 million on flood defences.

They are responsible for an estimated 27,000 parks and green spaces, vital areas in our towns and cities that help people revitalise and stay healthy.

Overall, councils spent an average of more than £125 on environmental services per person in 2019/20.

Cllr David Renard, the LGA’s Environment Spokesperson, said: “There is still a long way to go in our work to protect our planet, but councils will continue to lead local efforts to become more environmentally conscious.”


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