DUDLEY has been ranked as one of the second worst performing authorities in the country for being climate friendly, research from Friends of the Earth has revealed.

The environmental group carried out research to form a league table to determine which local authorities in the country are performing best in working to tackle climate change.

Dudley trailed near the bottom of the table in joint second from last place, after being assessed for its use of renewable energy, public transport, lift-sharing, energy efficiency at home, waste recycling, and tree cover.

It scored 44% as an overall rating, along with Rossendale and Craven councils.

Wiltshire topped the table with a score of 92%, while Pendle, Ribble Valley and Spelthorne languished at the bottom of the table scoring 40%.

Now, Friends of the Earth are calling on every local authority to 'ramp up' the fight against climate change.

Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth chief executive, said: “All local authorities, even the best performing, need to ramp up what they are doing. We know we are facing a climate and ecological emergency that threatens our existence and the natural word. If we want to change things for the better, let's start at home.

“Doing things right now about climate change isn’t just good news for future generations and people most vulnerable to an erratic climate, it’s good for everyone. Creating cleaner and greener places to live means healthier, happier lives. It’s why local authorities need to take the lead by adopting ambitious local climate action plans, and who better to help them than communities.”

Dudley Council chiefs said they were 'disappointed' by the findings, and called on everyone to think about what impact they can make to help Dudley become a greener place.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services said: “We're disappointed by this scoring, but think the assessment criteria which includes use of public transport, home energy efficiency and use of renewable energy highlights the fact that every one of us can make choices which have an impact.

“As a council we are already implementing an energy and carbon reduction strategy. This has included energy efficient lighting in residential streets and LED lighting projects, such as Pool Road multi storey car park. We’ve already reduced emissions from the council’s fleet of vehicles and we’re working with Transport West Midlands on the roll out of hybrid buses across the region which will reduce polluting emissions by 30%

“We actively encourage our residents to reduce, reuse and recycle, and by separating and not co-mingling we reduce levels of contamination, achieving better results and creating a better standard of recycled materials.

“We also introduced our own planning regulation in September 2017, which makes the inclusion of electric car charging points essential for all new larger scale residential and commercial developments and in July this year we were awarded around £2.5 million in European funding and match-funded it ourselves allowing us to install smart thermostats and new gas boilers in nearly 1,000 council homes across the borough to cut down on emissions.”

This week also saw councillors unanimously back moves for Dudley Council to freeze investments in fossil fuel companies, becoming the second authority in the West Midlands to do so after Birmingham City Council.