LGA criticises Friends of the Earth survey

8th April 2011


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  • Local government ,
  • Mitigation

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IEMA

A group representing local government in the UK has queried the validity of a survey examining councils' long-term targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The survey, carried out by environmental group Friends of the Earth, found that only 28% of local authorities have set targets to reduce emissions between 2015 and 2035, but the Local Government Association (LGA) has hit back questioning the relevance of the results.

A spokesman said: "We have serious concerns about the robustness of this survey. Councils are likely to have local carbon reduction targets for 2012 or 2015, when they will be reviewed. Asking for targets for between 2015 and 2035 is arbitrary.”

The LGA has also questioned the tone of the survey’s other findings.

"Criticising councils for not aiming to reduce local carbon emissions by 40%, fails to recognise that at least half of the levers needed to achieve that aim rest in the hands of central government,” said the spokesman.

“We are far more interested in realistic, meaningful targets based on robust local evidence. These will be far more useful to councils in their decision making then general targets for a time way into the future."

The Friends of the Earth survey results were published just weeks after Richard Kemp, vice-chair of the LGA, and environment secretary Chris Huhne signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing that the LGA work in partnership with DECC to tackle climate change.

The LGA spokesman confirmed: “We will be working more closely with DECC in the future to design policies that make acting on climate change an easy and positive decision for councils across the country.

“As part of that process a new Nottingham Declaration will be launched in autumn, which will announce a new ambition on climate change from local authorities.”

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