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Local government has an essential role to play in coordinating and supporting national initiatives aimed at decarbonising our economy. Central government have signed up to stringent targets to reduce carbon by 80% by 2050 with carbon budgets restricting the levels of Carbon the UK as a whole can emit. The cost of carbon intensive energy is still rising despite the brief lull in oil prices and it is clear that councils and the residents they serve will need to reduce their carbon emission to cuts costs.
Now is the time for local authorities to not only take control of their energy overheads and reduce their own carbon emissions, but also to invest in and promote sustainable energy solutions in their localities.
The decarbonisation of local areas encompasses large policy areas including energy efficiency in the public sector estate, emissions from transport, and emissions from private business and housing. To reconcile these with the levers of growth – skills, infrastructure and innovation – requires both the public and private sectors to invest strategically in green initiatives across policy areas.
This roundtable will explore what the whole place benefits of investing in a decarbonised local economy can be and how to access them.