Local Authorities in the UK are playing a role
in promoting the use of renewable energy.
Summit 1, held in Rio in 1992, initiated a process
of local level planning for the twenty first century
called 'Local Agenda 21'. Around the world, local
environmental organisations, working with local
councils, have been developing ideas for ways
in which local economic and social activities
can be made more environmentally viable.
Local Authorities in the UK took up the challenge
- indeed 93% have been involved in some way, carrying
out consultative exercises with local community
groups, developing action plans and implementing
local authorities have demonstrated a genuine
interest in the concepts of sustainable development
and sustainable cities following the first Earth
covered ranged from transport to health, but a
crucial concern, in environmental terms, has inevitably
warming' represents one of the major global environmental
problems and the way we generate and use energy
plays a key role in this process of climate change
that seems to be underway.
surprisingly, Local Agenda 21 groups have looked
at ways in which local energy waste can be reduced
- and there is no shortage of opportunities, for
example in the UK domestic sector.
Authorities with social housing provision have
been obliged to promote energy efficiency as a
result of the Home Energy Conservation Act. Now
with the introduction of the Climate Change Levy
there are financial benefits for councils in promoting
has been a lot of interest in the idea of using
non-polluting, naturally-renewed energy sources,
like the sun, the wind, waves and tides. The UK
has enviable renewable energy resources, and some
of them can be tapped on a local, small-scale
Keynes is already a pioneer in this field - there
are nearly three hundred solar houses of various
sorts in the city.
City Council has pioneered an ambitious Sustainable
Energy Strategy. It aims to reduce the cities
overall energy use by half by 2025 - with
renewable energy sources playing a major role.
energy is seen as a key option. The Council has
already installed solar cells on the council offices,
and an advanced evacuated tube heating system
at a city swimming pool.
initiatives taken by local councils include purchasing
green electricity generated from
Borough Council was the first Council in the UK
to purchase 100% of its
electricity from renewable sources. Rotherham
is in what was once a major coal mining area.
Coal is still important to them, but they are
also looking to the future - and the council is
now getting all its power from renewable sources.
Councillor Ken Wyatt, Rotherham Borough Council:
I don't think people realise how big a customer
of energy local government is. When you think
about the schools, the old peoples homes, libraries,
street lighting, offices and so on. We are big
consumers of electricity. The opportunity came
along for the council to purchase 100% of its
electricity requirements in green electricity.
We took that opportunity. I think we can lead
by example and make a contribution to reducing
CO2 emissions by purchasing green electricity.
We're bringing our emissions down by a massive