‘Three quarters of councils have not started delivering on net zero’

Most councils do not currently have the resources available to meet their net zero goals, according to a new survey

Big Zero Report 2022

Only a quarter of local authorities across the UK have started delivering on net zero plans.

That’s according to a new survey by property advisers Cluttons and sustainability consultants AESG which suggests nearly 58% of councils were still in the initial stages of their net zero strategies, while 11% had not yet started their journey.

The poll of 50 UK-wide council representatives from 45 separate councils also shows the main drivers for local authorities setting their net zero strategy are financial savings and the environmental benefits to their region.

On obstacles on the path to net zero, nearly 71% of respondents cited financing the journey as their greatest challenge, with ‘skills to implement’ and ‘time’ following close behind.

When it came to levels of understanding, only 24% of councils and government representatives had a ‘clear’ or ‘comprehensive’ understanding of their current carbon footprint, with 37% stating they did not understand their carbon footprint.

Niall Keighron, Sustainability Practitioner at Cluttons, said: “These results highlight the challenges that most councils are currently facing.

“Despite net zero targets rapidly approaching, the majority of local councils are still unaware as to how they will be expected to meet these, questioning whether these targets and declaration of climate emergencies were made as they were seen as achievable goals or in response to public pressure and statuary obligations.”

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