Headlines: July 19th, 2006

The Government has supported the launch of a climate change action pack for local authorities as part of its commitment to tackle the issue. The new pack will help councils address climate change in the way they manage their resources as well as in their role in leading the community.The pack has been created as part of the Nottingham Declaration, the public commitment by local authorities to recognise the impact of climate change and to take action to deal with it. The Declaration includes commitments to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide through better energy sourcing and changes in transport and waste production and disposal. The pack will be available to those councils that have already signed the declaration and will be given to other authorities as they join the campaign.

It has been designed to provide free, clear, practical tools and advice to enable authorities to assess the impact of climate change in their own areas and to mobilise senior management and political support to set and forecast targets for carbon reduction and to implement and evaluate their plans.

Local Government Minister Angela Smith said local authorities had an important role to play in tackling and adapting to climate change, both in the way they run their own estates and services and as leaders of their communities. “The new action pack addresses all three of these areas and will enable local authorities to prioritise and take action against climate change. I hope that all authorities use this Action Pack and urge those that haven’t yet done so to sign the Nottingham Declaration,” she said.Several councils, including Woking, Kirklees, Southampton, Lambeth and Kent are already reducing their carbon emissions or working towards doing so. Almost 50 local planning authorities now require at least a tenth of energy to come from on-site renewable technology in large developments and the Government has called on all councils to make such a requirement part of their local development plans.