William Eichler 21 August 2020

New guide to help councils tackle climate change published

Local authorities across the country will now be able to get more support in the fight against the climate crisis thanks to the publication of a new guide.

The new guide, published today by the Local Government Association (LGA), sets out 10 scrutiny questions which will help all councils and policymakers embed the necessary environmental, social and cultural changes that communities need to build resilience in the face of climate change.

The LGA said that the questions in the report are designed to invite further questions from council officers and members which will help to identify and understand local needs, including how councils will be adapting their climate change action plans in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Written with the Centre for Public Scrutiny, the report can support councils to engage with partners to channel local views, as well as playing a formal accountability role as councils make public commitments to climate action.

‘Climate change and the challenges it brings have been thrown into sharper focus during the coronavirus pandemic, demonstrating the need for places and communities to become more resilient,’ said Cllr Liz Green, vice chair of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board.

‘The impact of climate change cuts across all communities, council departments and functions, and our guide will help leaders to continue to deliver effective responses through scrutinising and testing climate action plans.

‘We hope that our report will help councils to explore questioning, identify key stakeholders, plan effective scrutiny work and consider the impacts that scrutiny can play in terms of delivering on climate issues.’

The LGA is hosting a webinar for councils on September 18 2020 to outline a practical approach for scrutineers to understand and seek oversight on climate action in their localities.

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