Onward Logo Colour White 2021

Call for evidence: Local Government and Net Zero

As part of our Getting to Zero programme, we are researching the barriers faced by local government in reaching net zero.

Our research will focus on how local and combined authorities can use existing powers to deliver emissions reductions in their area. We want to help move the debate past high-level climate emergency declarations and net zero targets to more practical steps that local government can take.

We are examining the best examples of local government delivering net zero policy from across the UK using the powers that local and combined authorities already have.

In some policy areas, local government may not be using existing powers to deliver policy. In others, complex procedures in procurement and bidding for government schemes may hinder progress.

There might be political barriers to progress. Is there local opposition to net zero? Is net zero not prioritised by local councils?

We ask two questions in this call for evidence. You can answer as many as you like. We would particularly like to hear from:

  • Councils
  • Elected representatives from all political parties
  • Generators and developers
  • Trade bodies
  • Businesses
  • NGOs and think tanks
  • Academics

Contributions should be kept to two pages maximum. Additional files, like local plans and other documents, may be attached.


  1. What existing powers does your local authority use to make progress towards decarbonisation in the following sectors:
    1. Heat and buildings
    2. Transport
    3. Energy production
    4. Waste and recycling
  2. What have been the political barriers to climate, nature, and energy policy in your local area?

Please send submissions to jack.richardson@ukonward.com by 5pm on Friday 29th September 2023.