A few weeks ago the Local Government Association (LGA) declared a Climate Emergency following on from over a 100 Councils doing so, from around the country, in response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report saying we have only 12 years (now 11 years!) to stabilise emissions to a level which can achieve the Paris Climate Goals agreed at COP21. As part of this declaration the LGA established a Climate Emergency Task and Finish group to examine the issues and make recommendations. I am one of five Councillors from around the UK on this group.
Here's some thoughts in advance about some of the the recommendations we could make
- establish a National Climate Taskforce including Ministry of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Ministry of Communities, Housing & Local Government and the Local Government Association representatives to drive action on climate change at the local level, addressing barriers to action and making good practice examples the mainstream
- Councils to produce Climate Action Plans on how they can cut emissions quickly and what actions they could take with greater support from central Government.
- Councils to lead local Climate Action Partnerships to drive deeper action on carbon emission reductions. This would draw in support from business, the wider public sector, the voluntary sector and the wider community
- Government to give a clear steer to local Councils that they are expected to insist on higher energy efficiency standards in new buildings up to (and preferably) the Passivhaus Standard. This to be followed as swiftly as possible by strengthening of the energy efficiency standards in Building Regulations.
- Reregulate and strengthen the Building Control function to ensure strict adherence to energy efficiency standards.
- Councils to produce a plan (with a timetable) for a complete electrification of their vehicle fleets and to work with other large fleet operators on similar plans.
- Revive the Home Energy Conservation Act powers of Local Government and ask for new plans to be established within a year for costed plans to improve the energy efficiency of homes in line with the emissions savings we need to achieve the Paris Climate goals within a ten year timeframe.