Greens ask for more support to local councils on climate action plans

22 November 2021

We are asking for as many people as possible to to write to their MP and councillors asking them for more support on climate action plans, in terms of powers and financing to be given to local councils so that they can actually implement their ideas.

 

You can find your representatives contat deatils at: https://www.writetothem.com/

 

Please find letter templactes below for your conveneience:

 

 

Dear Ms. Clarke,

On June 24, 2021, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published a double annual progress report to the UK Parliament on both climate change adaptation and on the progress to net zero and emphasised that to achieve the stated goal more needs to be done. Indeed, without "credible" policies, the United Kingdom is substantially off course to meet its carbon budget.

To meet sustained emission reductions the CCC stresses the necessity of government leadership, underpinned by a strong Net Zero strategy. In particular:

  • A "Net Zero Test" to measure compatibility with the legal Net Zero target, would ensure that all government policy, including planning decisions, is compatible with UK climate targets.

  • An ambitious Heat and Buildings Strategy, benefitting consumers, is urgently needed.

  • Delayed plans on surface transport, aviation, hydrogen, biomass, and food must be delivered.

  • Plans for the power sector, industrial decarbonisation, the North Sea, peat, and energy from waste must be strengthened.

  • The big cross-cutting challenges of public engagement, fair funding, and local delivery must be tackled.

In England and Northern Ireland there is no overall plan on how local authorities fit into delivering Net Zero. The onus is on local authorities to work out their own course based on piecemeal policy and communications from Government. This particularly affects smaller local authorities, like Stafford Borough Council, with fewer staff working on emissions reductions. 

Local authorities cannot deliver effectively and efficiently without a long-term strategic policy and funding certainty to underpin investment decisions. Stafford Borough Council is due to have a further reduction in central grant of more that £1million next year. 

In support of my local authority I am asking you to lobby your colleagues to demand that the Government provides leadership to all Local Authorities in the form of an emergency budget, linked to a clear plan with staged carbon reduction targets in the following key areas:-

  • Heat and Building Strategy - developers need to be required by law to build energy efficient houses to the highest possible standard and, at the development stage, build in heat pumps so that retrofitting is not required. All new houses should have electric charge points, or access to electric charge points for electric vehicles. Generous grant support to homeowners to make their homes as energy efficient as possible.

  • Road transport strategy – a countywide halt to road building and a comprehensive local transport plan with targets for clean air, year-on-year increase in cycle routes, electric shuttle services connecting towns and villages and an efficient train service.

  • Food and land use strategy – a central regulatory framework that requires the major supermarkets to support local farmers and growers and to address the imbalance in cost between organic and non-organic produce with a year-on-year reduction in the use of pesticides and herbicides. Initiate a policy on the positive use of verges and common land to support wildlife corridors and biodiversity. Introduce an outright ban on single-use plastics.

  • Repair, reuse and recycle – Government must place a requirement on manufacturers to take responsibility for the products they produce and sell so that they can be repaired, reused and recycled at the end of their life.

Without strong leadership from government and funding certainty the behaviour change needed will not take place. Self-regulation and encouragement are simply not enough.

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Ms Clarke,

A zero-carbon homes policy was first announced in 2006 by the then-chancellor Gordon Brown, who said Britain was the first country to make such a commitment.  It would have ensured that all new dwellings from 2016 would generate as much energy on-site through renewable sources, such as wind or solar power, as they would use in heating, hot water, lighting and ventilation. This was to be supported by tighter energy efficiency standards that would come into force in 2016, and a scheme which would allow housebuilders to deliver equivalent carbon savings off site.

 Unfortunately, the Cameron government axed the scheme to “reduce net regulations on housebuilders”, despite the target set within the Climate Change Act to reduce carbon emissions from our homes by 80% by 2050. 

The move was a thoroughly backwards step indeed and now we are desperately trying to finance the retrofitting of the nation’s building stock, which is some of the most inefficient in EuropeThe CO2 emissions from housing currently make up nearly a third of all the UK’s greenhouse gas emissionsa figure which could rise to 55% by 2050 if not addressed. 

I am writing to ask you to urge the Prime Minister to reinstate the ‘zero-carbon homes strategy’ as a matter of urgency so that local councils will not be left to finance the retrofitting of recently built developments. I am pleased to see that Prime Minister Johnson has today placed a requirement on developers to ensure that electric charge points are installed in newly built houses.

I find it depressing that, given the climate emergency we are all facing, more powers and financial support have not been provided to local government so that they can implement the climate action plans they have drawn up, instead another round of cuts have been planned which will most certainly undermine them. 

Great claims have been made about the success of COP26 but without strategic leadership and vision from central government, local government cannot hope to succeed.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 






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