‘The number of local authorities reducing their emissions is falling’

Energy Systems Catapult suggests better energy planning is needed to improve how local areas prepare for decarbonisation

The Big Zero report

The number of local authorities across the UK reducing their emissions is falling.

That’s the verdict from Energy Systems Catapult, which says 358 local authorities decreased their carbon dioxide emissions in 2017, 12 less than during the previous year.

The organisation says improved energy planning is needed for local areas to better prepare for decarbonisation, especially now the UK has committed to producing net zero emissions by 2050.

Energy Systems Catapult calls for local authorities to take a leading role in the planning of their energy systems and infrastructure and warns a single solution imposed in different places is likely to be more expensive and provide less effective outcomes for the people and businesses that live and operate there.

It notes as each local area is different, in terms of the state of buildings, energy resources, networks and even level of ambition to go green, approaches should be unique and specialised for each area.

The organisation says this will require support from the national government, as well as strong engagement from the energy sector.

Richard Halsey, Capabilities Director at Energy Systems Catapult, said: “To meet the government’s national target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, we will need a radical transformation of our local energy systems.

“Local areas can play a key role in enabling our low carbon energy systems of the future, engaging communities and shaping how we respond to some of the hardest challenges we face including decarbonising heat and transport in an increasingly decentralised and digitalised world.”

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