The Blueprint Coalition, an influential partnership of local government, environmental and research organisations, has called on the government to retain its key net zero commitments.
Following news of the Government’s intention to drop or roll back on existing climate targets, the Coalition has warned that the impact of reversing current policies will damage essential climate action and hurt local economies.
In successive joint policy reports, the group’s environmental practitioners and experts have set out how local government is critical in reaching climate targets. They have highlighted the key national policy levers for unlocking cost-effective, rapid local progress on net zero, and tracked government progress on delivering these.
The Coalition has also published a set of Manifesto Asks, highlighting the commitments the political parties must make to enable local places to decarbonise around the UK, and to protect their communities’ jobs, livelihoods and health from climate change.
Ann Carruthers, 1st Vice President of ADEPT said: “Local authorities are committed to climate action, but need targeted support. The Government’s own Skidmore Review argued that localised, place-based measures are more effective and provide better value than a top-down, siloed approach.
“It has been clearly demonstrated that investment in net zero is an economic opportunity rather than simply a cost. Backtracking on targets doesn’t show pragmatism, but rather a lack of leadership. It sends confusing messages to business and consumers. Failing to invest in the economic future of local places goes against the clear policies that key industries need to plan their investment and create the jobs of the future.”
Ashok Sinha, CEO of Ashden Climate Solutions said: “Reversing policies announced less than two years ago in the Government’s Net Zero strategy will jeopardise the ambitious local climate action plans of councils across the country.
“Progress towards net zero is already too slow and patchy, as highlighted by the Committee for Climate Change, and in our own progress tracker published last winter. Moving the goalposts now will simply make hitting 2050 net zero targets more difficult and costly.”
Dr Candice Howarth (Head of Local Climate Action at LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, and Co-Director of the Place-Based Climate Action Network) said: “The evidence is clear – the environmental, human and economic costs of climate change are already being felt at the local, regional and national levels, and will only continue to increase. The record breaking temperatures, over 40 degrees, experienced in the UK for the first time in 2022 are a preview of what is to come if urgent action isn't taken, and our research has shown that the UK is not prepared for these events. We urgently need to ramp up efforts to transition to a green economy if we are to protect local economies, jobs and livelihoods, reduce the shocks of the climate crisis on household budgets, and safeguard people’s health.
“This is the only pragmatic and responsible course of action and it is too important to play politics with. Rather than scaling back ambition and targets, the UK government needs to go further than what it has already committed. That is why our cross-sector Coalition will continue to call on all parties to urgently recommit to key targets on climate, emissions reductions, energy, housing, transport and waste reduction.”
To find out more about the Blueprint Coalition, please visit: www.adeptnet.org.uk/blueprintcoalition
The Coalition’s reports are also available here:
- Blueprint Coalition – Manifesto Asks
- Blueprint Progress Tracker
- A blueprint for accelerating climate action and a green recovery at the local level
- Recognising local authorities as key partners in the Net Zero Strategy
- Blueprint Coalition Position on Levelling Up
- Examples of local authority best practice - Friends of the Earth/Ashden case studies
- The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT) represents ‘Directors of Place’ from county, unitary, metropolitan and combined authorities along with directors of local enterprise partnerships, sub-national transport bodies and corporate partners drawn from key service sectors. ADEPT members are at the very heart of maximising clean sustainable growth, delivering the projects that are fundamental to creating more resilient communities, economies and infrastructure.
- Ashden is a registered charity whose mission is to accelerate transformative climate solutions and build a more just world. Our annual Awards showcase pioneering organisations working across sustainable buildings, transport and energy, and our Liveable Cities programme works with UK towns and cities to help them realise their sustainability ambitions.
- Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is an environmental education charity focused on sharing solutions to the climate and biodiversity emergency. CAT provides training and support for councils, communities and other organisations through its Zero Carbon Britain Hub and Innovation Lab.
- Climate Emergency UK exists to provide the tools and data needed, via the Council Climate Scorecards and Climate Action Plan Explorer, for campaigners and councils to take action on the climate emergency.
- Friends of the Earth is an international community dedicated to the protection of the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. We bring together more than two million people in 75 countries, combining people power all over the world to transform local actions into global impact. For more information visit: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/ follow us at @friends_earth, or like our Facebook page.
- The Grantham Institute is Imperial College London's hub for climate change and the environment, committed to driving forwards research and translating it into real world impact.
- London Environmental Directors’ Network (LEDNet) is the membership association for London boroughs’ Environment Directors. They work together to deliver more effective and efficient environmental services.
- mySociety is a not for profit group pioneering the use of online technologies to empower citizens to take their first steps towards greater civic participation.
- The Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN) is a collaboration between the London School of Economics, Queen’s University Belfast and the Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds. The aim of the network is to translate climate policy into action ‘on the ground’ and bring about transformative change. The network brings together the research community and decision-makers in the public, private and third sectors through five innovative platforms: three city-based climate commissions (in Leeds, Belfast and Edinburgh) and two theme-based platforms on finance and business. PCAN is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
- Solace is the UK’s leading membership network for public sector and local government professionals. They currently represent over 1600 members across the UK, and have regional branches across the country which play host to a number of events such as regional development days, skills days and networking opportunities.
- The work of the Blueprint Coalition is also supported by Green Alliance and London Councils.