Government’s Net Zero Strategy – CCN response

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2021 | 19 October 2021

Today the government has published its strategy to reach net-zero by 2025.

You can read the document titled ‘Net Zero Strategy: Building Back Greener’ here.

The strategy backs a prominent role for local authorities in decarbonisation, and says that funding pots for councils for climate change actions will be simplified. The County Councils Network called for both of these in its recent climate change report.

Below, CCN responds to today’s announcement.

Cllr Sam Corcoran, Climate Change Spokesperson for the County Councils Network, said:

“Today’s Net Zero Strategy from the government is an important milestone for decarbonising the country. The document emphasises the important role of local authorities in helping to deliver net-zero, but it lacks detail on whether any new grant funding to support councils is included within the strategy.

“New announcements on extra funding for people to retrofit their homes, to increase electric vehicle charging points, and for greener infrastructure will all have a tangible impact, but the County Councils Network’s recent report on achieving net zero in county areas warned that emissions in rural and county areas were decreasing slower than other parts of the country – and recommended a substantive increase in funding to address this.

“If the government is to hit its net-zero target, it has a ready and willing partner in county authorities. But we cannot decarbonise on a shoestring, and government needs to move away from what has been an overly-city focused on reducing emissions. Cop26 provides the perfect opportunity to reset the dial and focus on our county areas.

“In addition, we are pleased to see grants being made available for householders to install heat pumps, but the total amount of funding available appears inadequate to meet the government’s own targets in this area. In this area, we need clear and consistent policy supported by adequate funding to support communities and individuals to take personal action.”