Zoom in on Net Zero - with UK100's Polly Billington

James S Murray
clock • 1 min read

VIDEO: Hackney councillor and former journalist sits down with BusinessGreen's James Murray to discuss the role of local government in combatting the climate crisis

Polly Billington is a member of Hackney Council in East London and director of UK100, a network of more than 100 councils across the UK committed to tackling the climate emergency, and promoting clean air and energy in local communities.

Prior to her election as a councillor in 2018, Billington had already spent a wide-ranging career in green politics and journalism, starting out at the BBC where she worked as a reporter on Radio 4's Today programme, as well as for Radio 1's Newsbeat, BBC News 24 and the Politics Show.

She then crossed over to Whitehall in 2007 when she became a special advisor to Ed Miliband, working closely with the then Energy and Climate Change Secretary on what would become the landmark Climate Change Act 2008, which established the Committee on Climate Change and statutory UK climate targets. Billington also worked as a media advisor to Miliband as he successfully won the Labour Party leadership election in 2010, before later mounting her own unsucessful bid for a Parliamentary seat in Thurrock at the 2015 General Election. 

In a wide-ranging chat with BusinessGreen editor in chief James Murray, Billington discusses her time working on the Climate Change Act 12 years ago, what cash-strapped councils can do to combat the climate emergency, and how climate justice and good communication are key to securing support for the net zero transition. The conversation can be watched in full above.

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