Local Leaders Call for More Powers to Meet Net Zero Targets
The UK’s local leaders have signed a communique demanding more powers to meet Net Zero targets at the International Net Zero Local Leadership Conference network event, hosted in Birmingham by West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street.
What is the International Net Zero Local Leadership Conference?
The Net Zero Local Leadership Club are doing everything within their power to get their communities to Net Zero as soon as possible, and by 2045 at the latest. This is not just good for the planet but for the people they serve, who deserve warm homes, affordable energy, clean air, and local and seasonal food.
The International Net Zero Local Leadership Conference was a key milestone for UK locally-elected leaders ahead of COP26, highlighting the vital actions required to deliver climate change action in our race to net zero.
Following a day of talks between leaders, the conference aimed to bring better collaboration between local authorities to deliver Net Zero.
The aims of the International Net Zero Local Leadership Conference in full:
- Share insight, knowledge and best practice from business partners, local/combined authorities and central government on actions being taken and needed to achieve Net Zero.
- Promote the value of new priorities launched by the mayors and local leaders from the talks.
- Support in the building of partnerships that can take forward shared activity beyond the conference to help deliver Net Zero.
Outcomes of the event
Local leaders signed a communique that warns the government that without new devolved powers for local authorities, cities and regions, they will struggle to deliver the decarbonisation needed to meet the UK’s net zero goals.
The UK 100 group are calling for the draft of a new Net Zero Local Powers Bill which would give local authorities extra powers and also require all local authorities to report on their Co2 Emissions.
The signatories believe the new powers would facilitate the decarbonisation of transport and buildings, help reduce the cost of connecting electric vehicle charging points to the grid, shape emerging local energy markets, and ensure the UK Infrastructure Bank invests in local Net Zero projects.
The UK government has set out targets to cut emissions by 2050, with a medium-term target to slash emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. While many recognise that local authorities can have an impact on helping achieve that goal, it’s long considered that councils lack the necessary funding and authority to deliver emissions savings.
Andy Street said: “Climate change is a global emergency, and we know that every region and city across the world is going to have to play their part in tackling it. That’s why I’m really pleased that the West Midlands, in partnership with UK100, has been able to bring local leaders together today to discuss our role in this looming crisis. Here in the UK, the government has set out ambitious targets to achieve net zero by 2050, and we want the West Midlands to play its part in that by meeting our net zero target by 2041.”
More regulations needed to clean our air
The cutting of carbon emissions in our towns and cities across the country is an important part in cleaning our air and combating climate change. With more funding and powers, councils can address the problems they face to make our areas greener and safer for future generations.
Challenge 2025 and EGO uncovered that 89% of council tools are still powered by petrol, including their inventory of garden equipment to look after our green spaces. With new powers and funding, local councils can eradicate the need to use petrol tools and switch to safer alternatives.
Discover more about our work by downloading The Report here: https://www.challenge2025.eu/thereport/.