Recession, emissions and missed opportunities
Carbon emissions in local council areas dropped almost 13% between 2005 and 2009 according to government estimates.
On the face of it this is a good thing, but the sharp fall is a side effect of high fuel prices and recession - not positive action like green policies. When the economy picks up, emissions will too.
Councils have influence over about 80% of the UK's carbon emissions and have a vital role to play in tackling climate change.
Friends of the Earth welcomes news that the Government will ask the independent Committee on Climate Change to advise local authorities on their role in slashing emissions.
If it results in local councils doing their bit to tackle climate change it will be a step towards genuine emissions cuts and building a green economy.
From greener travel to slashing energy waste at home and generating it in a clean way, councils have a vital role to play in meeting UK climate targets.
Hutchins urged councils to create opportunities to boost jobs and businesses by following green policies. Going green would also slash fuel bills and reduce emissions on a lasting basis.
What you can do
Please make sure your local council is aware of Friends of the Earth's Get Serious about CO2 campaign.
© Vaidotas Stanevicius