How local councils are acting on climate


These council case studies explore the impacts, benefits and resources needed to tackle climate change locally. Share with your local authority to galvanise change, from reducing landfill waste to protecting nature.

While Friends of the Earth supports these specific projects, this doesn't always extend to the councils' wider environmental policies.

Buildings


How Islington is supporting vulnerable people and ensuring warm homes

17 Nov 2022

Islington Council has created a joined-up network of services that aim to support vulnerable Londoners facing fuel poverty. This case study relates to Actions 11 and 14 of the 50-point Climate Action Plan for Councils. Action 11 includes identifying people most at risk of fuel poverty and targeting policies, actions and spending towards them, while Action 14 involves helping owner-occupied and fuel-poor homes be more energy efficient, for example via insulation.

How Lancaster is aligning its Local Plan with the climate emergency

21 Oct 2022

Lancaster City Council has conducted a prompt review of its Local Plan to ensure the policies it contains will help tackle the climate crisis. Aligning plans, policies and guidance with climate targets forms part of Action 5 in the 50-point Climate Action Plan for Councils.

How Cornwall Council uses a simple tool to make decisions

08 Sep 2022

Discover how Cornwall Council used a simple, locally-tailored tool to check the social and planetary impact of its plans and guide decision-making right across the council. Checking whether council decisions would help or hinder climate action forms part of Action 1 of the 50-point Climate Action Plan for Councils.

How Cotswold District Council appointed climate champions

23 May 2022

Learn how Cotswold District Council appointed climate champions to make more progress on climate goals. Appointing climate champions is Action 2 in the 50-point Climate Action Plan for Councils: identify both a councillor at a cabinet-level and a lead officer as Climate and Nature Champions, who are required to publish a twice-yearly independent and audited public report on progress in meeting climate change and nature targets.

How Manchester will boost jobs, improve housing and cut emissions

23 May 2022

Learn how Greater Manchester’s smart energy plan will improve energy performance and lower carbon emissions. This plan forms part of 50 climate actions for councils under Action 19, to develop a heating and energy efficiency strategy for the area, including providing skills and training to increase local employment to aid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Reading uses planning to deliver new zero-carbon homes

08 Sep 2022

Learn how Reading Borough Council is using planning to ensure new homes are built to zero-carbon standards. This requirement forms part of 50 climate actions for councils under Action 16, to require through Local Plan policies that new housing development is zero carbon by 2025, including the incorporation of renewable energy in the development, using low carbon materials, and building to extremely high energy-efficient standards (higher than current national standards) using the Passivhaus standard or similar.

How Barnsley's pioneering community energy scheme tackled fuel poverty

23 May 2022

Learn how Barnsley's community energy scheme tackled fuel poverty among older people and helped fund neighbourhood projects. Installing local renewable energy sources in council developments and within private and public sector developments is part of Action 32 in the 50-point Climate Action Plan for Councils.

How Hastings is cutting energy use and combatting fuel poverty

23 May 2022

Learn how Hastings Borough Council has partnered with other East Sussex councils to help low-income residents become more energy efficient. Increasing the energy efficiency of homes is Action 14 of the 50-point Climate Action Plan for councils.

How South Gloucestershire Council raised £1.5m from housebuilding

08 Sep 2022

Learn how South Gloucestershire Council raised £1.5 million from a housebuilding levy to fund climate infrastructure improvements. Using a housebuilding levy is Action 9 in the 50-point Climate Action Plan for Councils: use legal and planning mechanisms such as Section 106 agreements, the Community Infrastructure Levy, and other mechanisms to fund climate actions and nature restoration projects.

How landlord engagement and licensing created warmer homes in Liverpool

08 Sep 2022

Learn how Liverpool City Council created warmer homes, by engaging with landlords and introducing a new five-year selective licensing designation. This case study relates to Actions 10 and 15 of the Climate Action Plan. Action 10 is to implement licensing of the private rented sector to cover the enforcement costs of ensuring compliance with minimum energy efficiency standards (applicable in England only). Action 15 is to rapidly enforce minimum energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector and encourage landlords to insulate homes to a higher EPC level.

How North East Derbyshire upgraded council homes and tackled fuel poverty

08 Sep 2022

How North East Derbyshire District Council upgraded hundreds of hard-to-treat council homes – lowering emissions and tackling fuel poverty. Retrofitting council-owned properties with heat pumps and high levels of insulation where possible is Action 13 in the 50-point Climate Action Plan for Councils.

How York Council is building 600 zero-carbon homes

08 Sep 2022

Read how City of York Council is building 600 zero-carbon homes, using the innovative Passivhaus approach as part of their Climate Action Plan. Zero carbon homes form part of Action 18 in the 50-point Climate Action Plan for Councils – require buildings on council land to be extremely energy efficient, using the Passivhaus standard or similar.

These case studies were produced by Ashden and Friends of the Earth, with support from ADEPT (Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport), Climate Emergency UK, Grantham Institute (Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London), London Environment Directors’ Network (LEDNet), and My Society.