Nine in 10 residents support increased biodiversity

​​Ninety-four per cent of residents polled by the LGA want to see increased biodiversity in their area, including the planting of trees and protection of green spaces.

The survey asked people what they would like to see their council do to tackle climate change. 

Encouraging people to be more eco-friendly through recycling and using less plastic, and increasing the use of renewable energy, were both high on the list, with more than nine in 10 wanting to see these changes.

Around 90 per cent of councils have declared a climate emergency, and many have been working hard to devise and implement innovative and effective plans to increase and protect biodiversity. 

These include: City of York Council, which is creating an extensive community woodland, with the ambition to plant 50,000 trees by 2023; a North Devon Biosphere Reserve, jointly funded by three local authorities, which will include a new nature recovery plan in line with the Government’s pledge for 30 per cent of the UK to be protected by 2030; and Surrey County Council’s ambitious target to plant 1.2 million trees – one for every resident – by 2030.

A recent report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that expected global temperature increases will wreak havoc across the world.

The LGA is warning that an ecology skills shortage is a worrying barrier to achieving net-gain goals in the biodiversity sector, with only one-third of planning authorities in England having access to an in-house ecologist.

Cllr David Renard, LGA Environment Spokesperson, said: “The impact of climate change on weather patterns is having a devastating effect on households and businesses, and councils are seeing first hand the impact it has on their communities.

“Net zero can only be achieved if decarbonisation happens in every place, community and household.

“We continue to call for a national fiscal and policy framework to address the climate emergency, accompanied by long-term funding for councils, which would mean they can properly plan ahead on the needs of their local communities as a whole to support this.”


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