A graphic with an image of UK100's press release for the Local Climate Pledge
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Local Powers
The "Taking the heat out of local climate action" pledge is being coordinated by UK100, the UK's only cross-party network of ambitious local leaders committed to climate action, and Chris Skidmore OBE, Former Energy Minister and Chair of the Independent Review of Net Zero and Mission Zero Coalition. The pledge sends a powerful message that local leaders are united in delivering an evidence-based, inclusive Net Zero transition.

In an unprecedented show of cross-party unity, local leaders from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens gathered to commit to put climate action above party politics and tackle the rising tide of local climate misinformation.

To sign the pledge visit: localclimatepledge2024.uk100.org

It is open to signatures now and is signed by Richard Clewer, leader of Wiltshire Council and UK100's Co-President. 

It is bringing together towns and cities from across the political divide, including Manchester City Council leader Bev Craig (Lab), Warwickshire County Council Leader Izzi Seccombe OBE (Con), North Norfolk District Council Leader Tim Adams (Lib Dem), and Lewes District Council Council Leader Zoe Nicholson (Green).

The pledge commits local leaders to:

  • Champion climate action as an issue that transcends party politics, recognising that it requires collaborative action.
  • Support an evidence-based climate conversation by countering misinformation and communicating the benefits of climate policies while addressing legitimate concerns.
  • Work in partnership with the government, businesses, and civil society to deliver inclusive, equitable solutions.
  • Engage residents, civil society and businesses in co-designing local climate action plans.
  • Scrutinise climate action with an understanding that the shared goal is to learn and advance progress by improving delivery.

The pledge comes as a new report warns that 2024 is set to be the UK's first "Net Zero election", with climate action taking centre stage in local contests across the country.

The new “Zero In - Accelerating Local Climate Action” report from UK100 and the Mission Zero Coalition warns that wavering government support and the rise of misinformation means Net Zero is on the ballot paper for many communities during the upcoming May 2 local elections in England.

With 8 in 10 Britons worried about climate change but less than a third confident that the UK will meet its Net Zero targets [1], the report urges local authorities to step up as trusted sources of information and effective drivers of practical progress.

Speaking at the launch event at the offices of UK100 at the former County Hall in London on Thursday [18 April], Chris Skidmore OBE, the Former Energy Minister who signed Net Zero into law and Chair of the Independent Review of Net Zero and Mission Zero Coalition said:

"Local authorities are the unsung heroes of the Net Zero transition. Day in, day out they are delivering the practical changes we need to see, from upgrading homes to improving public transport.

“But they can't do it alone. This pledge sends a powerful message that local leaders are united in their commitment to tackling the climate crisis. Now we need to see that same spirit of collaboration from Westminster, with a clear policy and funding framework to empower local delivery.”

Christopher Hammond, Chief Executive of UK100, added:

"The journey to Net Zero isn't going to be easy. But that's not a reason for inaction, indulging in scare campaigns, or pitting communities against each other. Honesty, openness, and engaging residents are essential foundations for the rapid, inclusive Net Zero transition we need to see. 

“If we do not slow misinformation, misinformation will slow Net Zero.

“With the 2024 local elections poised to be a defining moment for climate action, now is the time for local authorities to send a clear message that they are leading the way for a better climate debate."

Richard Clewer, Conservative Leader of Wiltshire Council and Co-president of UK100, said:

"Achieving Net Zero will require significant changes, but bringing residents and businesses along with us in an open and honest conversation is essential. Wiltshire is ready to lead the way in engaging communities as partners in climate action."

Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said:

"I'm proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with local leaders from across the political spectrum to call out the dangerous rhetoric that seeks to divide, and work honestly with our communities about the path forward for a just and fair transition to a Net Zero future. Working together, we can cut through the noise and accelerate Manchester’s transition to a fairer, cleaner, greener future."

Izzi Seccombe OBE, Conservative Warwickshire County Council leader, concluded:

"By signing this pledge, I'm underlining my commitment to working across the political divide to engage openly and honestly with our residents about both the challenges and opportunities of the Net Zero transition. Only by bringing our communities with us can we hope to accelerate progress towards a cleaner, greener, more prosperous future for all."

Ahead of the launch event, other signatories offered their support for the pledge.

John Cotton, Leader of Birmingham City Council:

Climate action should transcend politics, we need an honest and collaborative conversation about the benefits and challenges, but spreading fear and anxiety will only damage our communities and delay reaping the benefits."

Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff City Council, said:

“Cardiff and Wales know we need action at every level to meet Net Zero. Our One Planet Cardiff Plan is not just about reducing emissions, but engaging the community on how the transition can improve lives for everyone - young and old. We need a decade of delivery; we do not have time to delay. Bringing the public along to understand the benefits of energy-efficient homes, of walking and cycling or choosing public transport over the private car, of reusing and recycling, and of increasing biodiversity, is vital to getting there."

Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council said:

"Lewes leads the country on cross-party support for climate action. Working with all parties, business and residents, we have made significant strides in carbon reduction and sustainability programmes. It's not a matter of if we transition, but how, the climate crisis should be above party political games."

Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster City Council said:

"Local authorities are already leading on climate policy, it's up to local leaders to lead on the politics as well. We must turn down the heat and bring our residents and businesses along on the transition that will deliver enormous economic and health benefits to our community"

Lorna Fielker, Leader of Southampton City Council said:

“Southampton is proudly committed to a green future that improves the lives and health of our communities. By collaborating with local residents and businesses, we will create a happier and healthier community with a sustainable future.”

Philip Black, Leader of Lancaster City Council said:

“Lancaster City Council is working across party lines to take action to meet the real and growing challenges of the climate crisis. To do that we believe it is essential to base responsible decision making on a foundation of reliable evidence from trusted sources.”

Adam Varley, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Net Zero at North Norfolk District Council said:

"The public are looking to local councils to lead the way on Net Zero. We must rise above party politics and empower our communities to help shape the transition to a sustainable future that delivers for all."

To sign the pledge visit: localclimatepledge2024.uk100.org

Read more about the report here.