England & Wales Climate action and sustainable development

Climate Week is hotting up for councils

Greg Baker, Minister for Energy and Climate Change making his speech at the launch of Climate Week

As one of the local government endorsers of Climate Week, the LGiU was invited to last night’s launch event in Westminster with Greg Baker, Minister for Energy and Climate Change and around 800 others.

It was excellent to attend the event on behalf of local government and to see councils, such as Lewisham, Birmingham and Cheshire West and Chester, champion the role of local authorities.

As I wrote in this months edition of c’llr, from using certification schemes and grants to support individuals to make more energy efficient choices and finding innovative ways of incentivising recycling to managing local flood risks, local authorities have been at the forefront of this agenda, proactively doing their bit to tackle climate change. These local efforts deserve recognition.

The national campaign, which takes place between 21-27 March 2011, is therefore  all about celebrating and promoting the achievements of communities and workplaces across the UK and inspiring others to follow their examples in tackling climate change..

Climate Week has endorsements from an interesting array of people. From high level individuals – including the Prime Minister, the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and economist Lord Nicholas Stern, to the less expected celebrity endorsers such as actress Sienna Miller and even footballer Gary Neville.

Councils can get involved in Climate Week by running events in March 2011. There is also an opportunity to win the ‘best initiative from a local authority‘ award to recognise outstanding efforts by a local authority. This will be announced during Climate Week in March 2011 and applications can be made via www.climateweek.com

Lately I have begun to worry that the environment and climate change may fall off the national agenda in times of financial challenges – so it was a pleasant surprise to see that last night’s event draw the interests of over 100 parliamentarians, 12 government departments, over 30 embassies and a vast number of representatives from a wide range of sectors, including local government, community and voluntary organisations, think-tanks, the science community and the private sector – some of which are big sponsors of Climate Week, such as Tesco.