Climate charity urges councils, companies and communities to work together on area wide net-zero targets
New analysis by climate charity Carbon Copy reveals over a third of the UK’s local climate action plans currently published, focus solely on reducing carbon emissions from local authority operations.
Three-quarters of councils have now declared a climate emergency, with around 73% of those targeting 2030 to reach carbon neutrality. Carbon Copy’s UK Carbon Zero Explorer, launched in November 2020, shows this promising picture clearly, with a map of the UK colour-coded for which areas have declared, and which have the most ambitious targets.
Further investigation, however, has exposed significant discrepancies in the scope of local plans – with only half aiming to reach net-zero across the entire local area. The findings of this new research have been incorporated as an additional view to the interactive map, which shows a more toned-down picture of the nation.
A whole-area target is challenging. Nonetheless, the 190 local authorities that have set whole-area targets will be able to achieve their aims by working collaboratively with local businesses, community groups and other organisations within their patch.
Carbon Copy Co-Founder, Ric Casale said:
“There is still a lot to be hopeful about. We know thirst for change is there, and in a lot of places across the UK – from Glasgow to Cornwall – the climate action plans are incredibly far-reaching and ambitious. I think what this new information tells us is that it is possible to tackle emissions across a whole local area, but it requires more joined-up working across sectors and communities.
We invite local authority leaders to look at the UK Carbon Zero Explorer and share any updates with us, so it remains accurate and benefits as many people as possible. Our hope as a charity is that by demonstrating what works in one part of the country, we can inspire more people to replicate their actions and speed up progress to carbon zero.”
Stuart Neaverson, Campaigns Executive at The Climate Coalition said:
“I was already a fan of the UK Carbon Zero Explorer. It’s a simple yet powerful way of mapping local climate action plans across the UK. The additional information available in this new version adds another dimension – really highlighting the need for a more holistic approach to tackling the climate crisis. It’s crucial that communities, companies and councils all work together to reduce carbon emissions more broadly at a local level, to ensure nobody is left behind in the race to carbon zero.”