17 June 2021 | Environment

A pledge to combat climate change

Today (17 June) is Clean Air Day – the UK’s largest air pollution campaign. It brings together communities, businesses, schools and the health sector to:

• Improve public understanding of air pollution.
• Build awareness of how air pollution affects our health.
• Explain the easy actions we can all do to tackle air pollution, helping to protect the environment and our health.

The number of local authorities that have declared a climate emergency continues to rise and councils continue to battle with a range of competing demands in this area.

One approach to improving air quality is reducing air pollution in towns and cities by discouraging the use of petrol and diesel vehicles via a range of road user and parking charges.

There are numerous other ways in which this is being done including through the implementation of Clean Air Zones; transition to electric vehicles; emissions-based parking permits; emissions-charging; etc.

Earlier this week I chaired a webinar on the subject of air quality and climate change as part of the Local Government Technical Advisers Group (LGTAG) President’s Conference.

Clearly there are a number of challenges that need to be overcome in order to meet targets, but the one thing that stood out for me was the word collaboration. I know that it is often bandied around, but the need to remove silos – both internally and externally within organisations – has never been greater.

That’s why I’d like to take this opportunity to ask our members what they’re doing in this space and make a pledge about an action that their organisation will take to help combat climate change.

This could be a simple step such as carpooling to work or using public transport to help reduce your carbon footprint.

It doesn’t matter how small or big the pledge is, so long as it is a new measurable action that you believe will help your organisation reach net zero. We will look to highlight some of these pledges through LCRIG channels as we move forward. Our members will continue to play a vital role in delivering climate change so by working together in this way and showcasing everyone’s ambition in this area we can all help make change happen.

Please send through any pledges (maximum 100 words) to [email protected]

Clearly state what the pledge is and which organisation is making the pledge.