Half of local government representatives polled believe Covid-19 pandemic will have a positive impact on climate change

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20th May 2021 17:30 - Local Government

Half of local government representatives polled believe Covid-19 pandemic will have a positive impact on climate change: A survey of local government figures has found that half believe that the coronavirus pandemic will have a positive impact on their organisation's ability to tackle climate change.

The poll of more than 350 people conducted by the Local Government Chronicle in association with DWF found that 45% of respondents believe the impact will be 'positive', while 5% think it will be 'very positive'.

Three out of 10 people believe the impact will be 'neutral', while almost one in five said it would be 'negative' (16%) or 'very negative' (3%).

The survey also asked participants about whether the strategies to support the local economy over the next 12 months will have more or less emphasis on tackling climate change, with 135 respondents saying it will be 'greater than before the pandemic' and 134 people believing it will be 'the same as before the pandemic'. Sixty-three respondents answered 'don’t know'.

Greatest barriers to combatting climate change

Asked about the greatest three barriers to their organisation in taking action to combat climate change, 'funding' was mentioned 181 times, followed by 'changing behaviour in local residents' (50 mentions), 'organisational capacity' (25 mentions), 'legal powers' (18 mentions) and 'changing behaviours in local businesses' (18 mentions).'Expertise' (12 mentions), 'local political opposition' (9 mentions) and 'relationships with key partners' (7 mentions) were also cited.

Plans to tackle climate change

Organisations were also asked about how far advanced their plan is to tackle climate change, with 1 being equal to 'no plan' and 5 being equal to a 'well developed plan'. Nine respondents gave the question a rating of '1', while 46 people said '2'. The majority ranked their organisation at level '3' (148), while slightly fewer (104) said level '4' and 36 people rated their organisation a level '5'.



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