Local councils can help to tackle the recession by developing geen energy schemes to benefit the community.
That's the message from the Local Government Association, which represents local authorities in England and Wales.
A 'Green New deal' could create new jobs, they say, reduce fuel poverty, save carbon, and increase the UK's energy security.
The LGA are highlighting four areas of opportunity:
- a council-led national home insulation programme
- a national loans fund to allow residents to invest in solid wall insulation or renewable forms of energy
- investment in flood defences
- devolved employment and skills budgets to councils to ensure that training courses meet the skills needs of the low-carbon economy
Jobs from cutting carbon
'Local government has many vitally important roles to play in helping businesses and residents through the economic downturn,' says the LGA's Vice-Chair, Sir Jeremy Beecham. 'Equipping the country to come through the recovery in a better position to combat climate change is one of the most important challenges councils face.
'Creating a low carbon economy will create thousands of jobs, support small businesses and develop develop new markets. At a time when we are seeing more and more redundancies, a Green New Deal would boost the economy and help fight fuel poverty.
'Taking action now to combat climate change makes economic and environmental sense. If we do not take action to cut carbon emissions now, then it will cost our future generations more in the long run.'