C’llr Awards 2012: Sustainability Champion of the Year

Climate change is one of the biggest threats to face our generation, and how we tackle this issue over the next few years will have a deep impact upon the lives of future generations across the globe.

Scientific research into climate change continually reminds us of the huge risks we run by carrying on with business-as-usual, and the dramatic changes that are needed across our lives to reduce carbon emissions.

Some argue that these changes will stymie centuries of steady economic progress.

Their opponents wonder how we will answer our grandchildren when they ask ‘why didn’t you do something when you had the chance?’

But surely we do not have to simply choose one side or the other.

When confronted with a roadblock, mankind rarely slumps to the ground, defeated. We gather our wits, set a new course, and drive on with a renewed vigour and confidence. We can forge new partnerships, create new industries, reshape neighbourhoods and fundamentally re-imagine our relationship with our planet.

We might even start turning down the thermostat once in a while.

Because the reality of climate change does not only present us with risks, but also with opportunities. For instance, investment in green technology could spark an explosion of new jobs in areas that are adept at exploiting their natural resources. And allowing green spaces to break-up our urban landscape could have great benefits for public health.

So there is a sense in which the global problem of climate change is best tackled, at least partly, at a local level.

As two recent LGiU research papers have pushed upon us…

…adaptation to climate change is a local issue – flooding, coastal erosion, agricultural patterns, employment, regeneration and land use all impact at the local level.

And, accordingly…

…adaptation requires the input of communities and individuals in order to tackle it.

For this reason, we feel it is important to recognise and reward those councillors who have made an effort to understand and champion the cause of sustainability at a local level at the 2012 LGiU and CCLA C’llr Achievement Awards.

The Sustainability Champion of the Year award will be presented at this year’s ceremony to a councillor who has continuously championed the cause of sustainability – for example, through introducing and publicising sustainability policy – and successfully engaged other councillors and communities in contributing to this agenda.

But rhetoric and regulations are not always enough. When you are asking for shared sacrifice in the name of a larger cause, you must be willing to lead the charge from the front. As such, this councillor will also practice what they preach.

If you know a councillor who has a strong professional and personal record of supporting environmental sustainability, then please show your appreciation of the fantastic contribution they are making to their community by nominating them for this year’s Sustainability Champion of the Year Award. Anybody can do this by simply completing one of our new, streamlined nomination forms, which can be downloaded, along with instructions, here.

The closing date for entries in this category is 30th December, 2011.

For more information on the 2012 C’llr Achievement Awards, please visit www.lgiu.org.uk/cllrawards, or email awards@lgiu.org.uk.