Cambridgeshire leader calls for additional powers to tackle climate change

The leader of Cambridgeshire County Council is calling for the Government to grant additional powers to tackle climate change.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 5:00 am

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha will make the demand at an international climate change summit today (Tuesday, July 13) in Birmingham which has been co-convened by the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, and UK100 (which represents more than 100 authority leaders).

The leaders will call for new powers and resources to be devolved from Whitehall to shape local energy markets, decarbonise transport and tackle emissions from homes and offices.

The International Net Zero Local Leadership Summit is being compared to the Paris City Hall Declaration in 2015, which paved the way for the Paris Climate Agreement at COP21. A joint communiqué will be signed by 32 leaders at the summit which provides concrete examples of urgent policy changes that would help local and regional authorities deliver Net Zero. These include:

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Cllr Lucy Nethsingha ANL-150416-063106009

. A clear and long-term plan and resources for the decarbonisation of new and existing buildings and homes

. Setting up strategic energy bodies or similar mechanisms to address market failure in energy systems, with a duty to co-operate between public bodies and the companies that run energy infrastructure

. Reducing the “high costs” of connecting electric vehicle charging networks to the grid

. A clear target must be added to the Environment Bill to reverse the decline in species and habitats by 2030

. Ensuring the new UK Infrastructure Bank has a Net Zero mandate to deliver local investment in Net Zero projects.

The above measures would be facilitated by a new Net Zero Local Powers Bill to cement new powers for local and regional authorities alongside new reporting requirements on emissions.

The signatories included 32 mayors and leaders from major cities and urban areas including the West Midlands, Glasgow, Cardiff, London, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol and Newcastle.

Cllr Nethsingha said: “The communiqué we’ve signed calls for giving local authorities the power and resources to decarbonise new and existing buildings and homes.

“We’ve achieved a lot in Cambridgeshire already and our Swaffham Prior project will move an entire village from gas to renewable power, but we need more support in order to scale up our investment in decarbonisation to ensure all our villages, towns and cities can do the same.”