NORTHUMBERLAND has been named the joint second most climate-friendly council in England and Wales.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth assessed local authorities in different categories including renewable energy, public transport, lift-sharing, energy efficiency at home, waste recycling and tree cover to find an overall winner.

Wiltshire came out on top, with a score of 92 per cent, but was followed in second place by Northumberland, alongside the Isle of Wight and Somerset West and Taunton on 88 per cent.

Friends of the Earth also said local authorities “had an important and often overlooked role in cutting carbon emissions and solving the climate crisis.”

However, campaigners are warning that even the best performers cannot be complacent.

Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth chief executive, said: “All local authorities, even the best performing, need to ramp up what they are doing.”

Northumberland County Council is currently working on an action plan after declaring a climate emergency earlier this year and is pledging to reduce the authority’s emissions by half by 2025 and make the county carbon-neutral by 2030.

The first meeting of the climate change steering group took place last month with the detailed plan due to be published in December.