Government urged to work with councils on climate action or miss net zero

MPs call for tax incentives, including lower VAT, stamp duty and council tax, to accelerate decarbonisation of homes

Big Zero Report 2022

The UK will most likely miss its net zero target if the government doesn’t step up efforts to work together with local authorities on green measures.

That’s according to the latest report by the cross-party Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee which suggests collaboration is needed in areas such as housing and planning, low carbon heating and energy efficiency.

The report stresses that the newly announced Net Zero Strategy does not include a clear commitment to increasing funds for green actions by local authorities.

The report recommends the government come forward with a long-term funding plan for local authority climate action.

The body calls on the government to consider offering tax incentives, which could include lower VAT, stamp duty and council tax, for energy efficient measures and homes. 

Clive Betts, Chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, said: “From low carbon housing standards, energy efficiency and retrofitting existing housing stock to planning, transport and active travel, local councils have influence over a wide range of areas for potential emissions reductions.  

“The government must learn the lessons of past failed nationally delivered ‘green’ schemes. Schemes should be delivered in partnership with local councils who are trusted by their communities and who can provide the organisation, advice and promotion which will be vital in raising people’s understanding about the changes taking place.”

A government spokesperson told ELN: “We welcome this report. Councils have an integral part to play in delivering net zero, and we will continue to work very closely with local partners to meet our climate change commitments.

“Significant funding is already available to councils for them to take local action, including £1.2 billion in dedicated funds, alongside clear expectations on how central and local government interact in the delivery of net zero.

“We will respond to the report’s recommendations in due course, and the Secretary of State looks forward to appearing before the committee in the coming weeks.”

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