Local leaders and Mayors call for power shift to meet Net Zero

Photo by Christina Morillo: https://www.pexels.com/photo/group-of-people-on-conference-room-1181396/

A communiqué signed by a group of 32 cross-party Mayors and local leaders from across
the UK have called for a ‘Power Shift’ from Whitehall so that local and regional
authorities can deliver Net Zero.

This statement proposes a new, enhanced partnership between the UK government, devolved governments and regional, city and local authorities to accelerate the transition to Net Zero.

Polly Billington, CEO of UK100, a network for over 100 UK locally elected leaders who have pledged to play their part in the global effort to avoid the worst impacts of climate change by switching to 100% clean energy by 2050, commented on the announcement: “We need a power shift from central government to local communities to tackle climate change.

“Local leaders are more trusted, more accountable and in the case of the UK100 – more ambitious in accelerating the path to Net Zero.”

Examples of urgent policy changes that would help local and regional authorities deliver Net Zero include:

  • A clear and long-term plan and resources for the decarbonisation of new and existing
    buildings and homes
  • Setting up strategic energy bodies or similar mechanisms to address market failure in
    energy systems, with a duty to co-operate between public bodies and the companies that run our energy infrastructure.
  • Reducing the high costs of connecting electric vehicle charging networks to the grid
  • A clear target must be added to the Environment Bill to reverse the decline in species and habitats by 2030
  • Ensuring the new UK Infrastructure Bank has a Net Zero mandate to deliver local investment in Net Zero projects
  • The above measures would be facilitated by a new Net Zero Local Powers Bill to cement new powers for local and regional authorities alongside new reporting requirements on emissions.

The signatories included 32 Mayors and Leaders from major cities and urban areas like the West Midlands, Glasgow, Cardiff, London, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol, Newcastle as well as rural areas like Cambridgeshire, South Gloucestershire, the West of England and Cornwall.

A joint statement by the metropolitan mayors and UK100 and its constituent members, ‘Net Zero Local Leadership Communique: Delivering a Net Zero UK’ is available on the UK100-website.