Changing places - advancing local government action on climate change

Changing places - advancing local government action on climate change

Local government has the potential to play a pivotal role in tackling climate change, and some authorities are already at the forefront of climate action. But progress to date has relied on the actions of ‘wilful’ individuals, rather than a policy framework for local government action that encourages, enables and rewards.
This is beginning to change. Last year’s local government white paper, Strong and prosperous communities, stated that “all local authorities can and should be taking action to combat climate change”. To enable local government to step up to that challenge, the white paper urges local authorities to make their role as ‘place-shapers’ a reality. It gives local government new opportunities to drive local action on climate change through strong community leadership and strategic clout, and to coordinate local partners and partnerships to affect change.
Making local climate action matter to local authorities is essential if we are to see a step change in local government performance. Indeed, a recent report by the joint committee on the draft climate change bill described the new local government performance framework as “the single most important action the government could take to encourage local authority action on climate change”.
This report looks at what will be needed to bring about a major increase in the extent and quality of local authority action, focusing in particular on the role of the new performance framework and local area agreements. It also examines whether the emerging policy framework is capable of delivering what is needed, and assesses some of the overall constraints and barriers to getting the policy framework right.
Tracy Carty, Hannah Hislop
Publication Date:
17 August, 2007

Related content