MPs question whether councils are equipped to reach net zero

The Environmental Audit Committee is calling for written evidence submissions on the recently published report by the National Audit Office on local government and net zero.

The NAO’s analysis examined how effectively central government and local authorities are collaborating on actions to achieve net zero outcomes, finding that a lack of funding, and poor communication to and from the centre, are two issues which are hindering local authorities wishing to play their full part in reaching net zero.

The EAC is interested in exploring the issues raised by the NAO report in greater detail, examining the role local authorities should play in reaching net zero, the funding and resources currently available to them, and how central government is co-ordinating its engagement with local government on the UK’s target to reach net zero by 2050.

Philip Dunne, chairman of the committee, said: “I warmly welcome this excellent analysis from the National Audit Office, which they have produced following a recommendation from the Environmental Audit Committee. It complements the really important work the NAO continues to do in identifying the net zero challenges across central government, and supports EAC’s own work on mapping the country’s path to net zero.

“Local authorities will have a huge role to play in delivering Net Zero Britain. This inquiry seeks to understand how they are preparing to deliver their own Net Zero commitments, especially the 230 that have declared a Climate Emergency. I hope local authorities will bring examples of the approaches they are taking to the Committee’s attention so that this inquiry can help spread best practice. We all need to work together in this common endeavour to help decarbonise our local economy.”

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