Voluntary approach to tackling climate change locally is failing - new survey

A voluntary approach to tackling climate change locally is failing, Friends of the Earth warns today with new research revealing less than a third [28 per cent] of councils have an effective plan for slashing carbon emissions this decade and beyond.

The survey of England's 354 councils carried out by the green charity shows just 22 have a target equivalent to cutting local emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020 - the scale of action Government advisor the Committee on Climate Change says is needed across the UK.

Friends of the Earth is calling for the Government's Energy Bill, currently being debated in Parliament, to make sure tackling climate change is a core responsibility for every council.

The environmental campaigning charity's call is supported by 40 councils from all parties, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Women's Institute and trade unions.

Friends of the Earth's Climate Campaigner Liz Hutchins said: "Our research shows the voluntary approach to tackling climate change locally is not working - while some councils are leading impressive action to cut carbon, most are being left behind.

"Making our communities cleaner and greener shouldn't be an after-thought - councils are telling us a legal requirement would help them create jobs and cut costs, through green schemes like insulating homes and improving public transport.

"The Government must make sure local action to tackle climate change is part of its new Energy Bill."

Source: Friends of the Earth