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Climate Conversation: Delivering a Net Zero, Climate Resilient UK (Louise Marix Evans)

1. Outline

This is an independent briefing report compiled for the CCC by Louise Marix Evans. The Climate Change Committee (CCC) held a series of climate conversations from January to May 2022 with senior council leaders, mayors and officers to discuss the action they are taking locally to deliver Net Zero and improved climate resilience. During the visits, the CCC also engaged with climate partnerships, businesses, community groups and residents through meetings and workshops to understand the tangible ‘on the ground’ activities, opportunities and barriers they face. The findings from the UK Climate Conversation will help to inform the CCC’s advice to Government and its future work.

2. Key messages

  • The visits, meetings and conversations reinforced the CCC’s opinion that local authorities have a vital role to play in leveraging all their powers, assets and influence to deliver Net Zero and climate adaptation in the coming years.
  • The CCC recognises the importance of the many community-based initiatives which generate the success stories, inspiration and positivity that can start and maintain support for UK climate action.
  • Yet these actions are all different and uncoordinated, and this is not just because different places have different contexts. National strategies do not provide for a devolved set of climate responsibilities and there is generally no framework to manage delivery roles between national, regional and local levels of Government.
  • Efforts need to be focused on the key emissions sectors to tackle heating, new buildings, buildings retrofit and deliver modal shift and decarbonised transport.
  • National, regional and local coordination is urgently needed to ensure that local action aggregates to deliver Net Zero emissions and improved resilience in a coherent way.