ENVIRONMENTAL efforts made by councils in Somerset have been given mixed rankings by Friends of the Earth.

The charity has ranked all UK local authorities based on their eco achievements and policies.

And in Somerset, some councils have been lauded for their efforts, while others could do better, according to the table.

Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) comes out on top for the county, with a score of 88% for their climate change efforts, placing it in joint second place.

North Somerset and Mendip councils are next (76%), followed by South Somerset (72%) and Bath and North East Somerset (68%).

Bottom of the county compost heap is Sedgemoor, with a score of 60%.

The best performing UK council was Wiltshire, with a score of 92%.

Friends of the Earth compiled the table after granting scores for action on a range of issues.

They were: household energy efficiency; eco-heating; renewable energy; proportion using public transport, cycling or walking; electric vehicle chargers; lift-sharing; tree cover; and reuse, recycling and composting of household waste.

Cllr Peter Pilkington, executive member for climate change at SWT, said: “This is welcome recognition that SWT is taking climate change seriously.

"The council must lead by example to make low carbon living easier, and a common social norm.

"It has demonstrated its commitment by declaring a Climate Emergency and defining its authority boundaries as a fracking free zone.

"It is currently looking at proposals to effectively address the climate emergency across its activities, services and policies to make lasting changes and put climate and environmental responsibility at the heart of everything we do.

"Alongside this, the council is working with neighbouring district councils and Somerset County Council on a wider climate strategy for the area.

"We will be engaging extensively with residents, businesses and partner organisations over the coming months to ensure that the strategy has the widest possible ownership and involvement as we strive towards becoming a carbon neutral district by 2030."

Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth chief executive, urged even those at the top end of the table to do more.

“All local authorities, even the best performing, need to ramp up what they are doing," he said.

"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.”

The top scoring authorities were:

1. Wiltshire - 92%

2. Isle of Wight - 88% = Northumberland

= Somerset West and Taunton

3. Basingstoke and Deane - 84%

= Camden

= Ceredigion

= Cherwell

= Colchester

= Ipswich

= Milton Keynes

= Salford

= West Suffolk

Selected others:

Bristol - 80%

North Somerset - 76%

Mendip - 76%

Mid Devon - 72%

Cornwall - 72%

South Somerset - 72%

Sedgemoor - 60%