Sunday 23 June 2024
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Nottingham

Notts councils hit back after being given 0% rating for climate change action

Two Nottinghamshire councils have been given a zero per cent rating for their action to tackle the climate emergency.

But both authorities have issued statements outlining measures they are taking to address the crisis, with one authority saying it was given the rating because it was updating policies at the time it was assessed.

All councils across the country were graded on their climate action plans last year, with organisation Climate Emergency UK assessing authorities across nine key sectors.

Councils were then given a percentage on how well they are meeting their targets and addressing each individual area.

All Nottinghamshire authorities have now been given their grading, with both Bassetlaw and Ashfield district councils given the lowest-possible zero per cent mark.

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Nottingham City Council ranked within the top 15 single-tier councils nationwide, with a 76 per cent grading, including full marks on both its target setting and measuring element and the education and skills bracket.

This was well above the 50 per cent average for single-tier councils across the country.

Nottinghamshire County Council was graded 20 per cent for its current climate action, half the 40 per cent average for county authorities nationwide.

And most Nottinghamshire district and borough councils were broadly in line with the 43 per cent national average for this time of authority.

Rushcliffe and Gedling were graded the highest of the seven councils with 46 per cent each, while Mansfield District Council was graded 42 per cent and Newark and Sherwood was given 41 per cent.

Broxtowe Borough Council’s ranking was lower at 28 per cent.

But both Bassetlaw and Ashfield were among 37 authorities nationwide to be given the zero per cent grading.

Ashfield District Council has responded to the ranking by saying Climate Emergency UK “didn’t score our plan” as it was “in the process of updating” it.

A council spokesperson said the authority is currently working on three new climate documents which will commit the authority to becoming net-zero “in line with Central Government targets” of 2050.

These documents, the council states, will be “available in the near future” once they have been approved by both the cabinet and full council.

The spokesperson added: “The council has made considerable progress in reducing its emissions through multiple different projects.

“This includes installing solar PV on many council-owned buildings, switching to a Green Energy tariff, operating smarter working practices in its offices and launching a Climate Change Officer Working Group to drive reductions in emissions.”

They added council emissions have already reduced by 25 per cent since 2015/16.

Bassetlaw District Council said its zero grading is “disappointing” but stated it declared a ‘climate emergency’ in December, around three months after Climate Emergency UK conducted its assessments.

The council was the last of the nine authorities in Nottinghamshire to declare the emergency.

But the council says it has already taken numerous steps to tackle climate change, including installing solar panels on buildings including new council homes and making its housing stock energy efficient.

The district is also part of a wide-ranging decarbonisation programme, is supporting low-income households with energy-efficient measures, has installed electric vehicle charging points and has employed a climate change officer.

David Arminger, interim chief executive of the council, said: “Whilst it is disappointing to receive a zero per cent rating from Climate Emergency Action, we do not consider it is an accurate reflection of the actions we have undertaken.

“We are committed, as a council, to working towards net-zero and to play our part in tackling climate change.”

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