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Climate change plans 'need action'

Many cities across the UK are failing to implement plans to deal with climate change such as reducing emissions and planning for extreme weather, a report has found.

A study of 30 cities found all of the authorities acknowledged climate change was a threat and all but two of them had a strategy in place to reduce emissions.

But the report claims that many of the cities have done nothing about these plans and lack long-term investment in the strategies.

Dr Oliver Heidrich, who led the research at Newcastle University, said: "Of the 30 cities we assessed, all of them acknowledged that climate change was a threat and all except two had a strategy or policy in place to reduce emissions and also adapt to cope better with future weather patterns, in particular flooding.

"But a plan is only any good if you implement it and then assess it to see how effective it has been, this requires a long-term investment in the strategies.

"We found that in many cities this wasn't happening. In some cases, plans were in place but nothing had been done about them."

The study, which said there is a "postcode lottery of preparedness", gave London and Leicester the highest scores and Wrexham and Derry the lowest.

Dr Heidrich said the aim was not to name and shame cities, but to ensure that climate change policies were in place.

He said: "The aim of this research is not to name and shame cities, but if we are to be prepared for the increased occurrences of floods and droughts then we do need to make sure that our climate change policies are in place, that they are working and that the consequences of implementing these strategies are being checked."

The ranking system scored the cities on four levels of readiness; assessment, planning, action and monitoring. Other cities that were highlighted included Newcastle, which has an advanced electric vehicle infrastructure in place, and Sheffield and Coventry, which have established programmes to produce more energy from waste and reduce landfill.


From Belfast Telegraph