Headlines: June 5th, 2008

An updated Climate Change Toolkit is being launched today by LACORS, the Local Authorities’ Coordinators of Regulatory Services to help councils deal with the
issues. The launch has been timed to mark World Environment Day.

The toolkit is the first guidance designed specifically for council regulators. It details steps local authorities are taking to shrink the carbon footprints of the communities they serve through initiatives such as home energy grants, park and ride schemes and car clubs. The toolkit also offers new advice to councils that want to be greener with projects including buying food from sustainable sources, bringing empty homes back into use and differential parking charges.

In a separate section the guidance highlights how councils can build resilience and minimise the costs associated with climate change. It contains suggested adaptation measures such as planning for an increased flood risk, dealing with increased air pollution and with higher temperatures in buildings and on transport. LACORS says it hopes the toolkit will assist local authorities in building climate change measures into the everyday work of environmental protection, trading standards, private sector housing and other regulatory services.

LACORS Chairman Geoffrey Theobald said councils were on the front line in the fight against climate change and were already helping to protect the local environment by improving air quality, street cleanliness and energy efficiency. “However, local authorities need to do more. This toolkit focuses upon the contribution that regulatory services can make to the effort to combat climate change through measures such as transport plans, energy efficiency, encouraging sustainability and reducing waste,” he said.