DORSET Council is one of the better performing local authorities working to tackle the climate emergency, according to campaigners.

The council was given a score of 80 per cent by the group Friends of the Earth.

The group researched local authorities across England and Wales and assessed them in different categories, including renewable energy, public transport, lift-sharing, energy efficiency at home, waste recycling, and tree cover.

Wiltshire was named as the country’s most climate-friendly council with a score of 92 per cent.

Friends of the Earth says councils have an important role in cutting carbon emissions and solving the climate crisis.

Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth chief executive, said: “All local authorities, even the best performing, need to ramp up what they are doing. We know we are facing a climate and ecological emergency that threatens our existence and the natural word. If we want to change things for the better, let's start at home.

“Doing things right now about climate change isn’t just good news for future generations and people most vulnerable to an erratic climate, it’s good for everyone. Creating cleaner and greener places to live means healthier, happier lives. It’s why local authorities need to take the lead by adopting ambitious local climate action plans, and who better to help them than communities.”

A climate emergency was declared by the council in May following protests outside its South Walks House offices from members of the Extinction Rebellion pressure group.

Since then a Climate Emergency Executive Advisory Panel was set up, with councillors from across the political divide, to gather information and make recommendation on how best to tackle the climate emergency and support the community.

Cllr Ray Bryan, chairman of Dorset Council’s Climate Change Executive Advisory Panel, said: “Dorset Council and its predecessor councils have a proud history of sustainable initiatives and environmentally-friendly ways of working. We’re pleased that Friends of the Earth has recognised this, especially as we look to take on many of their suggestions for how we can address climate change.

“But we do not intend to rest on our laurels. Dorset Council has a key role to play in supporting our communities to reduce their carbon footprint. Councillors and officers are working hard to review our services and see what actions we can take to further mitigate the real danger that climate change presents. Together, we will build on the great work that has already taken place and help to prepare Dorset for the future.”


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