Inadequate support from government jeopardises local climate action


The Blueprint Progress Tracker shows that no government action has scored a green rating in the two years since the Coalition set out recommendations in 2020.

The Blueprint Coalition says the new progress report reviews the effectiveness of central government support on local authority action on climate change and nature.

The Blueprint Coalition, a group of local government, environmental and research organisations, is warning that this lack of progress jeopardises meeting national and local net zero and nature restoration targets.

The warning comes ahead of the Autumn Statement and with local authorities already struggling with cuts to funding, the organisation says. The Blueprint Coalition warns important progress that councils are making on climate and nature could be stopped in its tracks without adequate support.

Based on extensive research with local authorities and published in 2020, the report, a blueprint for accelerating climate action and a green recovery at the local level, set out how the right support from central government could support local climate action and boost sustainable economic growth, the Blueprint Coalition says.

The new Blueprint Progress Tracker, reviews action against these original targets. Although it shows progress has been made in some areas overall, the assessment points to insufficient support for councils to be able to deliver across all the key areas needed if they are to meet net zero and nature restoration targets, the organisation says.

Our progress report creates a worrying picture with not a single action scoring a green rating.

Barriers mentioned include fragmented, short-term and competitively allocated funding, a lack of clarity and direction in key policy areas and delays to essential guidance.

Last year, the Government recognised in its Net Zero Strategy that local authorities play an essential role in meeting national net zero ambitions – and set-up the Local Net Zero Forum to bring central and local government together.

The Blueprint Coalition welcomed this, but says it is disappointed by slow progress and key gaps in representation on the Forum. For example, there is no representation from the Department for Education – yet without the right green skills, the Coalition warns, the transition to a low carbon economy will be hobbled.

With new ministers in BEIS and DLUHC, the Coalition says there is an opportunity for a reset, and a recognition that councils are an indispensable partner in reaching the UK’s national target of net zero by 2050. With the right support, local climate action can protect people from fuel poverty, improve health and create hundreds of thousands of well-paid green jobs, the Blueprint Coalition says.

Commenting on the report, Mark Kemp, President of ADEPT said: “Our progress report creates a worrying picture with not a single action scoring a green rating.

“Local authorities are key to delivering net zero and biodiversity net gain – both are essential to climate action at the local level which is the only way to meet established government targets. We need firm commitment and resources from government to address the climate crisis.”

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