Defra has backed the activities and projects of nine English regions looking to achieve one planet living and tackle climate change. Each regional project forms part of the Securing the Regions' Futures programme, the Government's approach to strengthening delivery of sustainable development in the English regions.

Following Defra's initial investment of 31% of the total project costs, these projects attracted more than £1.9 million (the remaining 69%) of funding in two years from other regional bodies to support the project aims. Organisations to finance these projects included local authorities, environmental non-government organisation, regional assemblies, and regional development agencies (RDAs).

Also keen to take part were regional stakeholders, the government offices, and the voluntary and private sector. Each region made its intentions clear by stating its own pledge to galvanise efforts towards one planet living.

The north east and West Midlands both targeted carbon neutrality, London set out to be low carbon, while the north west and east of England simply set out to be a one planet region.

Yorkshire and the Humber and the south east are aiming to reduce their ecological footprint, while the south west is encouraging everyone to make do with their ‘fair share' of carbon. The regional sustainable development roundtables, regional assemblies, RDAs and government offices are all working together to make these pledges and projects are successful.

"I was pleased to agree with our regional Promoting Sustainable Development Group such a worthwhile programme for the partnership funding over the next two years,” said regional director of the government office for the east Midlands , Jane Todd.

“The projects will complement and support other regional initiatives, particularly those designed to bring home to people living in the region what they could be doing in their own lives to address the impacts of climate change and that every action counts."

Bryony Houlden from the South West Regional Assembly was also pleased to get involved in her regional project. "The trouble with sustainability is that people don't necessarily feel connected to it, or responsible for it,” she said.

“But by setting out policy you can reduce the need for them to travel by car and develop the right kind of communities that retain the beauty of the south west. It is vital to set out a clear direction in order to make sustainable development work in the regions."