A graphic with an image of Christopher Hammond explains this post is a press release titled: LGA highlights the systemic Net Zero challenges facing local leaders
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New Local Government Association (LGA) survey reveals councils face significant barriers to achieving Net Zero targets, with 67% lacking confidence in meeting goals on time and 90% saying current funding is insufficient.

The survey comes on the same day the Government responds to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee inquiry on local authority financial sustainability, which found councils face a £4 billion funding gap.

UK100 Chief Executive Christopher Hammond calls for an end to the "Hunger Games" approach of disjointed short-term competitive funding for local climate action, and for the Government to trust in local leaders to deliver for their communities.

LONDON, 25 March 2024 — A new Local Government Association survey of council climate change officers has highlighted the significant challenges local authorities face in achieving their Net Zero targets due to insufficient powers, funding and support.

The survey found that 67% of councils lack confidence in meeting their Net Zero goals within the stated timelines, while 90% reported that current national funding schemes were inadequate to fund their local Net Zero strategies.

The survey's release coincides with the Government's response to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee inquiry into local authority financial sustainability, which concluded that councils face an estimated £4 billion funding gap.

In response to these findings, Christopher Hammond, Chief Executive of UK100 and a former council leader, says:

"This survey joins the growing evidence base showing the difficulties local authorities encounter in driving Net Zero with one hand tied behind their back. Local leaders are the key to accelerating climate action from delivering local energy to retrofitting and building warmer homes, but they are being held-back by short-term funding and disjointed powers.

“The quickest, cheapest and fairest route to Net Zero is through local authorities. As analysis has shown, local-led action could save the UK £140 billion in reaching Net Zero compared to a top-down approach, while delivering almost double the energy savings and social benefits. The ambition is there but it is only by ensuring local authorities are empowered and resourced that we achieve our national climate goals while realising the full economic and social potential of Net Zero in every community."

UK100 recently published its flagship Powers in Place report calling on the government to:

  • Move Net Zero funding to multi-year place-based grants to crowd in private investment and allow authorities to plan for the long term, and; 
  • Create a new Local Net Zero Delivery Authority to coordinate local-national Net Zero collaboration and ensure a statutory role for local authorities in the transition.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Liam Ward, UK100, liam.ward@uk100.org

Notes to the editor

  • 82% of UK emissions are within the scope of influence of local authorities (UK Government).
  • A place-based approach to Net Zero could save £140bn in investment costs compared to a uniform national approach, while generating £14 in wider benefits for every £1 invested (PwC/Innovate UK).
  • 67% of councils lack confidence they will meet Net Zero targets within the stated timelines (LGA survey).
  • 90% of councils report national Net Zero funding schemes are insufficient to fund their local strategies (LGA survey).
  • 61% of councils have been dissuaded from even bidding for Net Zero funds due to the prohibitive costs of developing proposals (LGA survey).

About UK100

UK100’s primary purpose is to support a local-led rapid transition to Net Zero and Clean Air. We do this through collaboration. 

To accelerate action, we believe in bringing together the most influential leaders across the country to learn together and agree on priorities for legislative and regulatory change while empowering them to engage with national decision-makers. 

We provide our network with the knowledge, tools and connections to make this happen.