The move comes a year ahead of a proposed Government schedule and has received attention from Climate Change and Environment Minister Pearson.

Ian Pearson congratulated the East Midlands on its groundbreaking achievement on the Nottingham Declaration, and welcomed moves to extend the effort to other organisations, such as Primary Care Trusts and universities.

“Being the first region in England to have every one of its local authorities signed up to the Nottingham Declaration is something about which the East Midlands can be justifiably proud,” he said.

Details of 34 ‘pioneering activities’ were published last week by Mr Pearson in a report outlining programmes in all nine English regions supported by Defra.

Published case studies give an overview of a wide range of partnership projects, including ‘carbon coaches’ and a carbon budget website, sustainable construction checklists, a sustainability shaper toolkit, green guides, training schemes and a green Expo event.

Councilor Keith Mitchell, chairman of the English Regions Network said: “We welcome this guidance which will support Regional Assemblies in leading sustainability in the English regions for the benefit of today’s and the future’s populations.”

Activities include involving regional sustainable development roundtables, Regional Assemblies, Regional Development Agencies and many others and supported by more than £1 million in Defra funding over two years, and help each region to meet its own green pledges to reduce CO2 emissions and live within environmental limits.

Mr Pearson said: “Communities throughout the country, and the regional bodies that support them, are working together to fight climate change, secure a more sustainable future for their region and will make a real difference in their own patch. The work done by these projects, and many others, is a powerful reminder of our impact on the planet – and the effect of reducing our use of resources.

“This is not a purely environmental issue. It needs to be a central part of economic development, jobs, housing, transport and community planning as we move towards a low-carbon economy and put sustainable development into practice.”

Dana Gornitzki

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