The leader of Southampton City Council has pledged to keep culture wars out of climate policies.

Councillor Lorna Fielker has done so ahead of the local elections next month, with local authority leaders and campaigners committing to counter climate misinformation, as well as addressing concerns over policy.

The pledge has been coordinated by UK100 – a cross-party network of leaders committed to climate action, and former minister and net zero tsar Chris Skidmore’s, Mission Zero Coalition.

It follows as a report from UK100, and the Mission Zero Coalition which indicated 2024 is set to see the UK’s first net zero elections, with politicians elected this year having a key role in taking climate action.

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Daily Echo:

Cllr Fielker, told the Echo: “I have signed the pledge to support an evidence-based, rational climate conversation by resisting the urge to drag climate policies into culture wars or use misinformation as a tool for division.

“Change is always hard but indulging in scare campaigns, or pitting communities against each other prevents people from making informed choices. I believe that honesty, openness, and engaging residents are essential foundations for change.”

She added: “Our recent Citizens Climate Assembly was a great example of this, it brought together 40 randomly selected residents with a broad range of views who explored issues around climate change and transport in our city to reach shared recommendations about the future of our transport system.”

The cross-party pledge has been signed by council leaders from Westminster, Cardiff, Birmingham, Lancaster, Wiltshire, and Warwickshire, as well as Southampton.

By signing the pledge, Southampton City Council has promised to champion the net zero transition, requiring changes to all areas of life – including transport, home heating and power to cut emissions to zero by 2050.

Chief executive of UK100, Christopher Hammond, warned the journey to net zero would not be easy, stating: “Honesty, openness, and engaging residents are essential foundations for the rapid, inclusive net zero transition we need to see.”