A consultation has been launched to look at the future direction and shape of the Nottingham declaration, a scheme which has seen over 300 public sector organisations sign up over the last decade.
The consultation is being conducted in a partnership between the Local Government (LG) Group and the Nottingham Declaration Partnership. The intention is to seek the views of all councils and signatories to the Nottingham declaration – for which they are asking for a single submission from each organisation. The deadline for the survey is the 16 of September 2011.
In a pamphlet that introduces and outlines the consultation, the partnership talk of a “A consultation… on how local authorities can best continue and extend their commitment to tackling climate change and be effectively supported in so doing’”
They point out that ten years since the original Nottingham Declaration was launched, the circumstances that Local Authorities now find themselves in is very different: “The UK is still trying to recover from a major recession, the Coalition Government has made some major policy changes e.g. through the Localism Bill and public sector resources have been drastically reduced.”
In particular, they point to the Coalition Government removing the Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA), instead seeking a more voluntary, local and transparent way for local authorities to set out their priorities and demonstrate action and improvement against them.
They go on: “With this in mind, the LG Group and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), acknowledging the pivotal role of local authorities in reducing carbon, and setting out how DECC and the LG Group will work together to help and encourage all local authorities to take firm action to reduce their own carbon emissions, reduce emissions in their area and participate in national carbon reduction initiatives at the local level.”
The Nottingham Declaration Partnership is arguing that there is now an opportunity for councils to take ownership and demonstrate leadership and ambition in the effort to tackle climate change locally, with Central Government playing a less directive and more supportive role than in the past.
This is an area that we have also been looking at and writing on at Local Energy, most recently in the LGiU publication ‘The 10 Pillars of Local Energy Security’.
If you want to contribute to this consultation process, then you should do so in a single submission from your organisation. The survey has been sent to the Director of Environment or Environmental Manager of all councils, but the information can also be accessed from the webpage link in this article.