Headlines: January 29th, 2010

The Government has named the nine local councils which it will work with to develop a programme of action to tackle climate change. The Communities Secretary, John Denham, said radical action by local authorities to drive down carbon emissions would cut fuel bills and reduce global warming.

Manchester, Leeds City region, Bristol, Oxford, Northumberland, Haringey, Nottingham, Plymouth and the Bournemouth Poole and Dorset will pioneer and test new local carbon frameworks over the next year. People living in those areas are expected to see the benefits of large scale home insulation projects, alternative sources of energy and the emergence of greener communities.

The frameworks will be designed to promote new ways to meet Government ambitions on the essential climate change agenda. The ultimate aim is to ensure all councils have incentives to reduce their carbon emissions significantly. Mr. Denham wants the new frameworks to set clear targets for action, with milestones, and to develop clear evidence-based strategies for how carbon reductions can be achieved. Councils will also be expected to create a prospectus setting out how they would develop and deliver a local carbon framework.

John Denham said: “Local authorities, through their oversight of housing, planning, waste and transport coupled with the significant spending power they possess, are uniquely positioned to use their role and influence to drive and shape a low carbon economy, low carbon living. They can influence the kind of behaviour change that will be needed to meet the UK commitment to the 34 percent cut in emissions on 1990 levels by 2020.”