We’re developing free tools to help you make change around the climate emergency.
Engaging with your local council about the changes they’re making in your community is one of the most important things you can do for the climate.
The changes and innovations that local councils make in the next couple of decades will have a direct effect on around a third of all the UK’s carbon emissions.
…A third of all emissions! Now that’s worth getting involved with.
Many councils have published a Climate Action Plan, laying out how they will cut their emissions to net zero, in most cases by 2030 or 2050.
Where plans have been published, councils need your input. Where they haven’t, they may need their constituents – that’s you! – to demand one.
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When world leaders are grappling with the broad brush stuff – legislation to control carbon emissions from power plants, transit, industry and manufacturing – it can feel hard to have any impact. But everyone can be a Net Zero Local Hero.
When it comes to your own local community, you’re the expert. You understand what’s needed to get your neighbourhood on the path to Net Zero; you know what interventions your neighbours will embrace and what might not be so welcome.
You can let your council know if you think there are elements missing from their plan, or ideas they haven’t thought of.
Councils need your support, too, especially if they are suggesting rapid change or ambitious innovations that they’re not sure will be accepted within the community. Let them know they have your backing.
Ask the people who live in your area: how do they feel about innovations like solar panels, insulation, low traffic neighbourhoods, sustainable public transport? Once you understand their priorities, you can present them to your council, giving them a mandate on where to begin.
The easy way to contact your councillors is through WriteToThem, the website that tells you which politicians operate in your area, and then provides a form through which you can email them.
Not every councillor has a climate remit, but if you make initial contact with one who doesn’t, don’t worry! They’ll pass your email along to the right colleague.
Saving the world through local action isn’t just a one-off event. Of course, everyone has varying levels of time and commitment, but why not ask your councillor how you can remain involved in plans as they progress?
Increasingly, councils are introducing new ways for citizens to be involved in decision making, from climate assemblies to consultations. Ask to be kept informed.
Once you’ve fully understood your council’s plans, you can help spread the word back to others in your community, and help address misinformation before it spreads.
Local social media groups and comments in local papers are a hotbed for ill-informed discussion: presenting facts calmly, with statistics and links to back them up, is a huge service you can do to your community, and to the planet.