A new report published by APSE sets out the steps that UK councils need to consider in translating climate emergency declarations into positive actions to address climate change. ‘So you’ve declared a climate emergency: what next’ identifies both the barriers and opportunities for local councils to deliver on commitments to work towards net zero carbon emissions.
The report, written and researched with the New Policy Institute (NPI) suggests that actions taken now by councils, to reduce emissions will provide long term benefits with early cuts across a broad range of activities being the immediate aim.
Drawing upon the near-term targets, published by the Committee on Climate Change, the report highlights many achievable actions by local authorities in reducing emissions in assets and building, energy, transport, leisure and waste and recycling services.
APSE Chief Executive, Paul O’Brien said, “It’s clear that whilst there are hundreds of local authorities who have declared a climate emergency, few have put into place action plans for delivery. This report provides a useful toolkit to guide local authorities on a step by step basis. Our main message is that even small cuts now in emissions will help achieve net-zero emissions in the future. By taking action now we are demonstrating a tangible commitment to the promises made through climate declarations to our local communities and local areas”.
Report co-author Dr Peter Kenway added “Now is the moment to remind communities that like the Covid crisis, the sooner we deal with the climate emergency, the easier it will be. That means local councils showing courageous leadership, gaining momentum on climate action, not just through their own operations but through collaboration with those within the wider local area”.
The report draws on the findings of the IPPC report of 2018 and the UK Climate Change Committee Report of 2019 as well as an analysis of current climate emergency declarations by UK councils. The report also draws upon detailed analysis of case study authorities and list actions which councils can take now on their own services and operations to ensure cuts to greenhouse gas emissions happen sooner rather than later.
Notes to Editors
APSE is a not-for-profit organisation working with over 300 UK wide local authorities. Specialising in supporting frontline services as well as policy development for local councils APSE has a wide research programme on climate change. It is supported in its work by APSE Energy a UK first in bringing together those councils that have developed municipal energy schemes to green and localise energy supply. APSE Solutions provides operational support to frontline services who are transitioning to green operations including in areas such as waste and recycling solutions.
New Policy Institute (NPI) is a UK research institute which produces evidence-based research on a range of social and economic issues. The report authors are Josh Holden, Bridget Mooney and Dr Peter Kenway
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