A net-zero test for all decisions
A net-zero test for all decisions

A Net-Zero Test for Council Decisions 

A Labour-led Westminster Council will introduce a rigourous Net-Zero Test for Council decisions if elected in May 2022.

With world leaders currently gathered at COP26, the need to show real leadership in the climate crisis has never been greater. However, despite declaring a Climate Emergency in 2019 following extreme pressure from Labour Councillors, the Conservative-led Westminster Council has not done enough, and, like more than a third of Councils in England, supports policies that will increase carbon emissions. We need to embed climate action across everything the Council does.

Labour will do things differently. We will introduce a Net-Zero Test, which will be applied to all major Council decisions (including procurement) to ensure the carbon impact is fully considered and measured, and to help find new ways to get to Net-Zero.

Similar tools are already proving successful for other local authorities such as Cornwall and Hampshire County Council. The Net-Zero Test will inform decisions by assessing social, economic, and environmental impacts, and will force the Council to totally rethink how it operates. The process will allow more informed choices, help discover new ways to reduce emissions, and create a unified and efficient Net-Zero Council.

To help drive change across Westminster Council, Labour will also ensure all Council staff are trained on how to consider the climate impact of their decisions and introduce a Carbon Literacy Toolkit, following best practice in other local authorities.

Pancho Lewis, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Member for the Environment, said:

 “It is crucial that we embed climate action into everything the Council does. The Net-Zero Test will ensure we can accurately assess the environmental and social impacts of Council decisions, and work to improve this across the Council’s activities. This will ensure the Council finally treat the climate emergency like an emergency.”

This comes as part of Westminster Labour councillors’ recently released Green New Deal for Westminster – setting out how a Labour-led council will turn high-level commitments and climate targets into real, tangible action.

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