Local government action

Local authorities should act within their powers to facilitate urgent radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors:
  • information and culture
  • transport
  • space heating
  • local food
  • renewable energy generation.
Councils should avoid overclaiming the benefits of measures that can contribute little to the climate emergency such as tree-planting and electric charging points.

Information and culture


Tyndall Climate Centre reports for UK local authorities
In the UK, councils should base their actions on the CO2 budget reports from the Tyndall Climate Centre (one for each local authority) at https://carbonbudget.manchester.ac.uk/reports/.

When published in 2019, these showed that cuts in emissions of typically 13% per year were needed in order to comply with the UK's Paris Agreement commitments. With the lack of action so far, cut of at least 20% per year are now needed.


CO2 emissions from transport is the sector where local authority decisions have the greatest impact.

Make walking and cycling safe
For more on making walking safe, see https://www.carbonindependent.org/89.html.

Car use

Public transport

Air travel

New developments (of shops, housing, etc)

Space heating

Local authorities should give a lead in reducing fossil fuel heating of buildings.

Local food

Local authorities should wherever possible facilitate the local production and distribution of food.

Renewable energy generation

First published: 2008
Last updated: 22 Aug 2023