Local Authorities are uniquely placed to drive forward effective climate action at both the regional and local level. They have essential local knowledge of the natural and manmade environment and have a critical role to play in managing climate risks and vulnerabilities and identifying adaptation actions. They also deliver key services to the public either directly or in partnership with other Government Departments such as housing, planning, sanitation and maintenance of local roads, parks and waterways.
The Government has signed a Climate Charter with all 31 Local Authorities, committing local government to driving forward meaningful climate action in their communities. The Charter is a key deliverable of the Climate Action Plan and ensures that all local authorities embed decarbonisation, sustainable development and climate resilience into every aspect of the work they do.
This cements the role identified in the National Adaptation Framework (NAF) of Local Authorities in addressing climate change adaptation. This will build on their existing expertise and experience as first responders in emergency planning scenarios. Under the NAF, each Local Authority developed and adopted its own Adaptation Strategy in line with guidelines developed for the sector.
In January 2018, the Government established four Climate Action Regional Offices (CAROs). This recognises the commitment by Local Government to develop and implement its own climate action measures, as well as the need to build capacity within the sector to respond and adapt to climate change.