Efforts to tackle climate change in the Cotswolds were highlighted at COP26.

Leader of the Cotswold District Council, Liberal Democrat Joe Harris, travelled to Glasgow as part of the Local Government Association’s delegation.

At the summit he shared examples of how groups across the Cotswolds are confronting climate change.

In 2019, shortly after the Lib Dems took control, the district council declared a climate emergency and now, council leadership are calling for more powers and money from the government.

Councillor Harris said: “Since we declared a climate emergency in the Cotswolds, we’ve been impressed with the enthusiasm from residents to play their part.

“I was pleased to present to leaders and delegates from across the world examples in the Cotswolds of community action, such as in Blockley where they’ve just adopted their Climate and Ecological Action Plan.

“In order to support these communities, we need extra planning powers so the council can take further action, for example, compelling developers to build carbon zero homes and buildings.

“We also need more money. Councils have been chronically underfunded over the past decade. Cotswold District Council alone has had its government funding cut by 60 per cent so we desperately need money to help turn our climate reduction plans into action. Hitting residents in the pocket by raising council tax and other charges is not a sustainable long-term solution.”

Along with hundreds of local councillors, councillor Harris signed a letter sent to the Prime Minister calling for local governments to receive increased powers to allow them to tackle climate change.

He added: “Along with my colleagues from all political parties I’ve been lobbying for greater recognition of the role local government and communities will play in tackling climate change.

“The UK’s net zero targets can only be achieved if Government and local authorities work seamlessly together. More than half of the emission cuts needed rely on people and businesses taking up low-carbon solutions including buildings, energy and transport. Decisions that are made at a local and individual level.

“With nine out of ten councils having declared a climate emergency, full support from the Prime Minister and his government is needed to make sure local ambitions become a reality.”