Bolton Council has become the latest authority to sign up to the Local Government Association's Climate Local commitment.

The initiative encourages councils to commit to take local action to reduce carbon emissions and protect residents and services from the effects of climate change.

The council and Bolton's Cleaner Greener Partnership have now drawn up a list of commitments covering renewable energy, fuel poverty and sustainable transport.

Birmingham City Council has drawn up proposals to reshape the role of parks, woodlands and other green spaces in the city's wider green agenda.

The Green Living Spaces Plan, which is subject to approval by the authority's cabinet, would introduce seven principles and introduce new ways of working to make sure parks act as "vital defences" against climate change.

South Ayrshire Council has become the first local authority to sign up to the Scottish Government-backed Resource Sector Commitment, which aims to help deliver the country's zero waste targets by setting standards for business waste collection.

The scheme has been developed by Zero Waste Scotland in association with the resource management industry and small business representatives.

Glasgow City Council is reportedly planning to start its own energy company to cut costs, tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.

Scotland's largest local authority currently spends around £26m a year on energy for its estate, including schools, libraries and sports centres, as well as street lighting.

The proposed Glasgow Energy Services Company would generate its own power for lighting and buildings, with surplus electricity sold to the National Grid. 

More than 200 solar photovoltaic panels have been fitted to a multi-storey car park owned by Bedford Borough Council in the first phase of a £1.7m scheme to cut energy costs.

The Re:Fit Project will see outsourcing specialist Mitie make improvements to seven council buildings to reduce their running costs and environmental impact. The improvements are expected to pay back their implementation costs within eight years.

Fife Council is set to convert food and garden waste into renewable electricity and power in a move that could save the authority around £1.2m a year.

The council has appointed Ener-G to supply a combined heat and power (CHP) system for its new anaerobic digestion facility at the Lochhead landfill site near Dunfermline.

Barnet Council has secured £260,000 from the mayor of London's Air Quality Fund.

The authority will use £200,000 to improve air quality in North Finchley town centre by planting a "green wall" with plants specifically chosen to remove pollutants.

The project will also include the installation of cycle bays and charging points for electric vehicles.

The Government should consider introducing council tax discounts linked to a property's energy efficiency to encourage take-up of the Green Deal, a new report has argued.

The study from the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) said that offering a council tax cut for high-performance houses and higher rates for those homes with poor efficiency would be a significant incentive for driving retrofit work due to the broad impact of council tax.

A new recycling campaign is asking local authorities to encourage residents to leave aluminium caps and closures in glass bottles for recycling.

You Can Leave Your Cap On has been launched by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) in partnership with British Glass and the European Aluminium Foil Association, who estimate that around 5,000 tonnes of the metal worth some £2m could be diverted from landfill if recyclers screwed caps back on empty wine or olive oil bottles before depositing them.

Cornwall Council is offering grants to local businesses to help them encourage their staff to take greener forms of transport.

Some 57 per cent of people in the county currently use their car to get to work and the council has set aside £155,000 over the next two years from its local transport plan to provide match funding of up to 75 per cent for facilities or equipment that support more sustainable travel.

This could include remodelling car parks to provide car share spaces, creating secure cycle storage or buying a pool of bicycles for staff to use.

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