Councils keeping Nottingham Declaration promises

Councils are sticking to their promises to tackle climate change since signing the Nottingham Declaration but are failing to tell the people they serve.

A survey of more than 100 local authorities – almost a third of all the signatories to the declaration – found all but one had already taken action and had a strategy in place to reduce the impact of climate change.

But a report from environmental experts Sauce Consultancy and SE2, which carried out the survey, said that most councils are not providing enough feedback to their local residents, engaging the local media and promoting their results and progress.

“It’s great that all this activity is happening, but on the whole people do not know about the successes of the Nottingham Declaration and it’s signatories,” said John Twitchen, managing director of Sauce Consultancy.

But the survey found that more than a third of the respondents were planning to focus more attention on raising awareness and publicising their work to meet commitments in the declaration.

“It would also be good to see local authorities supporting emerging businesses during the economic downturn by buying sustainable products, using local suppliers, buying green energy and proactively supporting local energy production and energy efficiency through the planning system,” Mr Twitchen added.

The survey found that 65% of councils had put together an action plan, more than half were promoting climate change awareness internally, and 45% had distributed subsidised low energy light bulbs and insulation.

Nearly 40% had held an event to encourage residents to reduce their carbon footprint, while more than a third had invested in green energy resources.

Rachel Mills, director of SE2, urged more councils to follow these examples and put their good intentions into action.

“Senior level buy-in within councils and adequate resources – in terms of staff time and budgets – are both vital if we are to see results,” she said.

Kate Martin

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