Today, we’re happy to join in the excitement around the launch of the Council Climate Action Scorecards.
Just over 18 months ago, we were pointing at the first iteration of this work by Climate Emergency UK (CE UK), which marked every council’s climate action plan according to a detailed schema. Back then, we were impressed by the scale and quality of what they’d pulled off, and pleased to have been a partner in delivering the work.
But if that was impressive, what’s been achieved this time around is even more so. While climate action plans are simple documents, with all the information in one place, unpicking how climate action is progressing at the local government level is a much more complicated matter.
Once again, CE UK amassed a large cohort of volunteers, trained them up and set them the task of obtaining information about the state of play in every council area via a variety of means: news stories, meeting minutes, websites and strategy docs; and where the information couldn’t be found by any publicly-available source, with FOI requests. It is a real testament to people power, coupled with one of mySociety’s longtime favourite methods of breaking daunting tasks into more manageable chunks by crowdsourcing.
To ensure the data is meaningful, CE UK have completed the work with the oversight of an advisory panel, of which our Head of Research Alex Parsons was one member. mySociety have again played an active part in the project, building a tool on which volunteers assessed action, developing and designing the website, and helping send the FOI requests to multiple councils via our WhatDoTheyKnow Projects tool.
We hope that the Council Climate Action Scorecards will help councils and other key actors such as central government to see where they could be doing more, and to knowledge-share with others. More than that, we hope that campaigners, researchers, journalists — and individuals who want to understand how their councils are doing on climate — will dig into the data and learn more about both the local and nationwide pictures.
At mySociety, our Climate team‘s focus is set by the fact that around a third of all emissions are estimated to be within the power of local authorities. That’s why we have gladly put time and resource into supporting CE UK’s fantastic work.
Image: Markus Krisetya