Local government can drive an inclusive transition to net zero 

By Emily Morrison | 13 March 2024

It seems that often local government is left holding the baby – and net zero policy is a case in point. In a near impossible fiscal environment for local authorities - and with households facing a cost-of-living crisis, the lack of consistency, and a dearth of confident leadership on climate in national politics - it falls on local leaders to drive action on the climate emergency, and support our places and communities to adapt to a greener future. 

Transition to net zero is a balancing act between economy, place and community. Yet the national policy environment is focused primarily on technologies and the economy – not on the human and household side of transition. Having committed to 2050 targets, 64% of which (at least) involve action by the public and by local communities it seems incredible that central government still hasn’t put a public participation strategy in place for net zero. How can awareness be raised, uptake increased of energy efficient, retrofit, and clean and green choices, and acceptance be negotiated with communities for the temporary disruption switching to low-carbon living will bring, when there is no confident, national plan?  

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