A local path to net zero

Councils want to work as partners with government, industry and communities to tackle climate change. They are intrinsic to transitioning our places and empowering our communities and businesses to net zero future.

Local path to net zero muted banner

Public concern around climate change is high. Opinion polling shows significant levels of support for net zero, and the extent to which our way of live is impacted will become more acutely felt as flooding, heat, drought, shortages and economic damage escalate.

Climate action can deliver huge benefits. Alongside safeguarding a habitable future, the transition to net zero helps tackle the rising cost of living, improve our health and our economy. There are big opportunities to shape the green recovery locally, nationally and internationally.

The government’s ambition to reach net zero by 2050 can only be achieved with decarbonisation happening in every place across the country – every household, community and local economy. This requires local leadership.

Over 300 local authorities have declared climate emergencies and are in the process of developing plans to deliver against ambitious targets. Councils can mobilise and join-up community action and pull a wide range of levers to deliver local results that reduces emissions and adapts to the impact of climate change.

As the government’s Net Zero Strategy outlined, councils can influence 80 per cent of emissions from their places, have direct influence over a third of emissions and have direct responsibility for three to five per cent of emissions.

However, this potential is a long way off being realised. We are calling for an approach to redress this over the medium and short term.

The position of councils as place-shapers, convenors of communities and local partners, asset-owners, problem solvers and significant purchasers puts them at the forefront of delivering real, tangible changes in the transition to net zero.

What we are asking the government for:

Climate change sector support programme

Alongside the majority of councils, the LGA has declared a climate emergency. As part of our sector-led support offer, we offer a wide range of resources to help councils address climate change and environmental sustainability. Visit our climate change hub to learn more.