Mark Whitehead 23 October 2019

Support local industrial strategies to ‘promote a zero-carbon economy’, think tanks say

The Government must support local industrial strategies, with new funding and devolved powers, to promote a zero-carbon economy, according to the Green Alliance and Localis.

The think tanks say that although more than 230 English local authorities have declared 'climate emergencies', most have only just begun to consider the changes that will be needed.

Their report says the slow implementation of industrial strategies is putting local areas with the greatest need of economic revival at risk of missing out on clean growth development opportunities.

It says this will imperil the Government's national target to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

‘The route to clean growth – using local industrial strategies to drive change’ calls for the Government to reaffirm its commitment to local industrial strategies with clean, climate-resilient growth at their core.

It says local and combined authorities should have more powers to mandate greener building projects, contrary to the Government’s renewed threat to ban them from doing so.

They should also be able to use council tax and business rates to meet clean growth objectives.

Localis head of research Joe Fyans said: 'The clean growth challenge is to make the best use of local resources and powers to drive change across the country and at a much more rapid rate than previously.'

Devolution is crucial to unlocking the potential of local government to play its part in tackling climate change, The MJ reported this week.

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