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Committee on Climate Change Report
Committee emphasises the role of local councils in helping the UK to prepare for climate change and carbon targets.
21 May 2012
A report commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change that states that local authorities have a large influence over CO2e emissions from buildings, waste and surface transport, was published last week by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). Whilst currently there is no requirement for councils to set targets and implement measures to reduce CO2e emissions, the CCC state that national carbon targets are being put at risk by limited local level action. The report recommends the introduction of statutory requirements upon local authorities to develop and implement carbon plans as well as national funding frameworks to support such programmes. The CCC state that stronger incentives will mean that local authorities will be able to more easily reduce emissions by promoting sustainable travel, encouraging the development of renewable energy projects, implementing better recycling programmes and supporting energy efficiency schemes. Initiatives like this are also likely to bring benefits to local communities by reducing energy bills, improving health and promoting economic regeneration and jobs.
Climate Change Committee member Professor Julia King said, “there is a wealth of good work being done already at local and regional levels but many opportunities remain untapped. It is essential that these opportunities are delivered if we are to meet our national carbon targets.” The CCC identified key sectors that local authorities should target such as buildings, sustainable transport and waste, as between them they account for 40% of total UK emissions. It is estimated that by undertaking energy efficiency and carbon reduction measures in these areas, emissions could be reduced by 20% by 2020 (compared with 2010 levels).
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