Reaching Net Zero will require collaboration across sectors and in public/private spaces, as well as local engagement.
Fundamentally, climate change is something that affects us all and the move towards Net Zero can only happen if we have whole communities onboard. This means putting people at the centre of things; engaging communities to design solutions that meet their needs, ambitions and expectations, whilst also progressing towards Net Zero.
Local authorities will also need to collaborate with a wide range of organisations in order to harness expertise and technology that they don’t hold in-house. Outreach to stakeholders of all kinds is crucial in working to achieve Net Zero while also ensuring that we maximise the co-benefits; e.g. cleaner air, job creation, increased public health and well being, tackling fuel poverty, and increased income generation for Council services.
Local authorities are uniquely placed to drive the UK towards Net Zero. Their democratic accountability requires them to engage with their populations and encourages them to establish political consensus to bring about long term change. By adopting integrated systems-thinking, they can solve more than one problem at a time - saving money for residents while making roads safer, air cleaner and generating income for better public services.