Climate change efforts hindered by 'broken' system, warns report

By Laura Sharman | 04 May 2021

Local government efforts to tackle climate change are being held back by a ‘broken’ national system, a new report has found.

The Powershift Report, published by UK100 network of council leaders who have pledged to switch to 100% clean energy by 2050, warned that local authorities needed more powers and resources, and more clarity over their role to take the next step.

It also said national policy mechanisms were ‘actively working against’ against local authorities trying to cut emissions.

The report read: 'National policy mechanisms can actively work against local authorities making effective use of their potential to cut emissions, including overriding national policy priorities that lock-in carbon emissions, funding models that hinder low carbon choices, power gaps in place-based systems and entrenched or siloed decision-making that pitches low carbon options against other priorities.'

The report urged the Government to change national rules and regulations to enable councils to do more to tackle climate change.

UK100 director, Polly Billington, said: 'We urge the Government to recognise that we need to change the existing rules that slow down climate action at the local level.

'They need to be reformed with the necessary urgency, giving local authorities the powers and resources to put the country on the path to meeting its climate targets by 2050.'

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