Over half of councils target net zero by 2030

Local ambition is pushing many councils across the UK to aim for carbon zero twenty years ahead of schedule, according to data compiled by climate change charity Carbon Copy.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that countries need to dramatically accelerate the transition to climate neutrality. By its own estimates, we have until 2030 – less than 10 years – to prevent 1.5°C warming. According to Prof Mark Maslin at UCL, “The [UK’s] zero-carbon target is essential, but the date of 2050 is too far in the future. The UK must adopt a 2030 zero-carbon target.”

It is almost exactly two years since Bristol City Council became the first council in the UK to declare a climate emergency, on 13 November 2018. Today, almost three-quarters of all local councils across the country have formally declared a climate emergency and over half of them have set a goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions locally by 2030 or sooner.

As a guide to progress towards this target, Carbon Copy has launched UK Carbon Zero Explorer, aninteractive map that lets users explore different local areas across the country, offering details about targets, Climate Action Plans and current carbon emissions for each local authority area. As well as providing this key data, the tool signposts users to success stories from councils, community groups and companies that are implementing high-impact, low-carbon initiatives locally.

Ric Casale, co-founder and trustee of Carbon Copy said: “We designed the UK Carbon Zero Explorer to help people across the UK to discover how their local community is responding to the climate crisis. What we have learned is that there is a great deal to be positive about. More than half of UK principal councils have acknowledged that the nationally set 2050 deadline for reaching net-zero carbon emissions is simply not ambitious enough and that we need to treat this crisis as an emergency.

“Local climate action is not only measured by reduced emissions but also in terms of community and care. We hope that by sharing and celebrating the huge impact that local leadership is already having across the country, we can inspire more communities towards repair and renewal.”

The UK Carbon Zero Explorer is a dynamic tool, and Carbon Copy is inviting local authority representatives to share updates and edits to the information displayed about their local area.

• Visit carboncopy.eco/local-climate-action to learn more about climate action taking place locally to you.

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