LGA responds to Environmental Audit Committee report on putting nature and net zero at the heart of our economic recovery

17 Feb 2021 01:45 PM

Cllr David Renard, environment spokesperson for the Local Government Association, responded to the Environment Audit Committee report that looks at how nature and net zero should be at the heart of our economic recovery from COVID-19 

“It is crucial that the COVID-19 economic recovery has a real focus on net zero. This report rightly focuses on the need to address unprecedented levels of unemployment and investment in green jobs.

“The Environment Bill must be fully aligned to achieving net zero, improving air quality, protecting against flooding, and ensuring our transport, waste and energy policies are environmentally sustainable. We support the principle set out in the Bill of increasing biodiversity net gain through the planning process. Where net gain contributions from developers cannot be delivered on site, any financial “credits” should be retained by councils so that local people will have a say in how they are spent.

“A multi-year extension of the Green Homes Grant would be a positive step. Some councils have faced some challenges with the competitive, short-term nature of the grant funding which requires sufficient staffing and capacity to apply.

“Long-term funding would empower councils to be able to properly plan activity focused on the needs of local communities as a whole to support the delivery of net zero.”

Growing back better: putting nature and net zero at the heart of the economic recovery