Environmental lawyers have warned over a hundred councils in England they could face legal action if they fail to act introduce measures to mitigate the climate crisis.

The lawyers hail from the environmental legal group ClientEarth.

In a statement published Monday (September 2), a spokesperson for the group said that 105 local authorities across England had been put "on notice" and now risked being taken to court if they did not introduce appropriate plans to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change.

Borough Councils in Kingston (RBK), Epsom and Ewell (EEBC) and Elmbridge (EBC) were among those written to by the environmental legal group.

Surrey Comet: Extinction Rebellion activists stage a die-in protest in Kingston Extinction Rebellion activists stage a die-in protest in Kingston

"We’re giving councils eight weeks to respond to how their new local plans will include carbon reduction targets — with the risk of legal challenge facing those that fail to introduce targets or not making those targets central to new plans," a spokesperson for ClientEarth said.

The group are backing up their threats of legal challenges over climate inaction by pointing to a range of existing laws related to the climate crisis.

For example, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act of 2004 requires that local plans include policies 'designed to secure' that the development and use of land contributes to the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.

The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 requires that a plan’s cumulative climate impacts are assessed and taken into account, including assessing the consistency of proposed policies with all relevant climate objectives and targets.

Scores of local authorities across England, including RBK, EEBC and EBC, have followed pressure from environmental groups and central government in declaring a "climate emergency" in recognition of how serious the climate crisis is.

Surrey Comet: Extinction Rebellion protest in Greenwich last monthExtinction Rebellion protest in Greenwich last month

With those declarations, ClientEarth point out, go certain duties regarding implementation that now need to be fulfilled.

"There is a collective failure by local authorities across England to plan adequately for climate change.

"Too often climate change is perceived to be just a national or international issue and therefore solely the responsibility of central government," ClientEarth climate lawyer Sam Hunter Jones said.

"Clearly central government needs to do more, as the recent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) progress reports stress.

"Yet so many of the daily decisions around new and existing infrastructure — such as new buildings, roads and utilities — are made at the local level.

"All of these decisions will ‘lock in’ an area’s future emissions and its resilience to climate change," he pointed out.

Surrey Comet: Environmental protesters in Kingston earlier this yearEnvironmental protesters in Kingston earlier this year

The ClientEarth lawyer also highlighted how building and transport were two areas the UK government has been criticised over by the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC).

"In July this year, the CCC criticised the UK’s continued failure to take action on emissions from buildings and transport – two sectors where local planning plays a critical role.

"Climate action at a local level can transform people’s quality of life for the better, with clear net benefits to health, air and water quality, employment, energy affordability, community cohesion and biodiversity," Mr Hunter Jones said.