A local path to net zero

Councils have a significant role to play in tackling the climate emergency.

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Councils want to work as partners with Government to support and advance on the UK’s net zero target by 2050.

They are well-placed to translate national climate ambitions into transformative action as:

  • Place shapers – places are intrinsically local and councils are the master planners
  • Purchasers – procurement is a key power that councils have to deliver net zero
  • Problem solvers – councils have been delivering solutions to local problems for centuries
  • Asset owners – councils are land-owners and have significant building stock
  • Convenors – councils can bring together local partners, businesses and civil society

To promote local leadership on climate change, we invited councils, partners and industry experts to share their perspectives on the importance of local climate action, themed around the goals of the 26th Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which took place in Glasgow from 31 October to 13 November 2021. The goals are mitigation, adaptation, finance and collaboration.

Ahead of COP27, the importance of local government referenced in the Glasgow Climate Pact has now been reflected in the UK’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution which includes a paragraph on the essential role local authorities play in driving action to tackle climate change.