Headlines: January 22nd, 2008

A local government think tank is calling on councils to sign up to its voluntary carbon trading scheme as a way of showing they can set the pace in tackling the effects of climate change. The call from the Local Government Information Unit follows the last of a series of roundtable meetings it has organised about developing a trading scheme.

At that meeting a group of local authorities met representatives from Defra who outlined details of their plans for a statutory trading scheme – the Carbon Reduction Commitment. It would see larger councils trading with private sector and other public sector bodies from 2010.

The LGiU believes these proposals for a compulsory scheme increase the importance of its own voluntary plans, which are scheduled to come into effect in April. “Councils are going to need new skills and resources if they are going to take advantage of carbon trading and use it to prioritise their work on carbon reduction,” said Gemma Roberts, policy analyst with the LGiU’s Centre for Local Sustainability.

The LGiU says it is keen now for more local authorities to get involved in its scheme and Gemma Roberts added, “By simulating all the aspects of a trading scheme, from measuring and planning through to actually buying and selling carbon, the LGiU scheme will help participants understand how trading works, but also show that local authorities can be pace setters in tackling climate change.”