Foreword - Cllr Nick Forbes
There is no doubt that our planet is facing an environmental breakdown. The IPCC has found that the earth’s temperature is likely to rise by 1.5C between now and 2050 if it continues to increase at the current rate.
The UK’s former Chief Scientist has said it’s appropriate to be scared about the pace of climate change, given the increase in the number of extreme weather events.
Climate change will have a catastrophic impact across the world – here in Britain we can expect rising sea levels leaving many of our coastal communities uninhabitable, greater extremes in temperature making leading the lives that we are used to much harder, food shortages, loss of natural species due to the change in climate, and much more.
As leaders of our towns and cities, Labour councillors are leading the way in taking bold action to tackle the impact of climate change. Not only is it our job to make sure that our towns and cities are the greenest they can be – whether that’s ensuring that residents and visitors can travel on green transport, that council buildings are as efficient as they can be, or increasing biodiversity locally.
Covid-19 has posed numerous challenges for local government, such as supporting shielding residents, setting up local tracing systems, sourcing PPE for frontline workers and protecting the local economy. The challenge of climate change has not gone away and one of the drivers of the recovery from Covid-19 – both nationally and locally – will be putting tackling climate change at the heart of any recovery strategy. Taking a holistic approach and embedding climate change into all that we do – whether it be housing, the local economy, transport or the council’s own estate – will ensure that we not only have greener communities, but healthier and more resilient communities too.
Labour councils also have an important role in helping our residents change their own behaviour – whether this be through reducing energy consumption or changing the way they travel to one that is greener and more sustainable.
We should all be proud of the work that Labour councillors are doing to tackle climate change. This website brings together all of the best practice by Labour councils and Labour Groups in opposition, and I’d encourage all of Labour in local government to see what colleagues around the country are doing and to see what they can take back to their own council areas.
We’ve also got campaign materials to help you campaign on climate related issues locally, and we’ll be publishing regular blogs on the climate emergency and the action that is being taken to tackle it.
If you do have any positive case studies which share what your council have been doing in this area please do send them to the LGA Labour team, as we’ll keep updating the website with best practice.
We'll be sharing regular blogs from the Labour movement and from climate change experts about the work of Labour councils, Labour Groups and broader developments in climate policy.
Labour Groups and Labour-run Councils have been active campaigners on climate change. In this section you can look at examples of local Labour campaigns and council-run corporate campaigns on climate change issues.