England's core cities sign climate pact

Posted: 8 November 2007

Leaders of England's eight biggest cities (outside London) have signed up to "show leadership in tackling climate change." At a meeting of England's Core Cities in Nottingham this week they set out a number of commitmens aimed at achieving 'A Prosperous and Sustainable Future'.

Robin Hood - cities campaign
Robin Hood - cities campaign
Robin Hood helps leaders of England's eight biggest cities and Youth Parliament members aim for annual cuts in their cities' climate change emissions at an event run by Friends of the Earth England, Oxfam, Christian Aid, CAFOD and the World Development Movement. Photo courtesy Edward Sellman
These commitments, set out in an agreed Declaration, include:

  • "Achieve or exceed targets for reducing CO2 emissions...in line with the new Climate Change Bill.... We will collaborate on future target setting..."

  • "Show leadership by...engaging public sector agencies, Non Governmental Organisations, employers and communities in making specific carbon reduction commitments."

  • "Build on the Stern review...to develop economic impact models to inform future decisions..."

  • "Work with government to consider climate change implications in working to reduce regional economic disparity."

  • "Use available planning, licensing and transport powers to reduce fossil fuel use by improving public transport, reducing the need to travel, tackling congestion and providing alternatives to private car usage."
'Weak bill'

The declaration was welcomed by Friends of the Earth who called on the government to complement it by improving its 'weak' climate change bill.

Paul de Zylva, Head of Friends of the Earth England said:"The best city leaders now realise that the success of their city depends on them becoming low carbon economies. That means creating economic, housing and transport opportunities without contributing to climate chaos. The Government must now strengthen its proposed climate law to help England's cities make this shift and turn today's welcome pledge into more than just warm words."

The Government's proposed climate change law needs improving if it is to deliver the cuts in emissions which the world's leading climate scientists say are needed to tackle climate change and protect our economy, he said.

A strong law should commit the UK to cutting its carbon dioxide emissions by at least three per cent every year (equivalent to 80 per cent cuts by 2050) and include Britain's share of emissions from international aviation and shipping from the outset.

Friends of the Earth's climate campaign can be seen at www.thebigask.com