When CAPE launched, it was basically a list of councils’ climate action plans — but we’ve continued to make regular improvements and additions, and it’s better, and more useful, than ever.
If you’re a council officer with climate duties; a researcher looking for climate data; an activist needing facts to back up your climate campaign; or simply an interested citizen, you’ll find some truly invaluable facts and figures on CAPE.
And if you haven’t visited for a while, you’re in for a surprise. Here’s what we’ve added this year:
Now you don’t need to think of all the different ways that councils might have described the concept you’re looking for. We’ve integrated machine learning into the search function, to help surface your search term even in documents that use different words for the same concept. Interested to know more? We wrote it up in detail here.
Updated for new councils
In April, a set of UK local authorities was abolished and merged into new unitary authorities. When this happens, we do work to update the data that CAPE depends on. You can make use of it too!
- Our dataset of local authorities names and codes
- Our datasets of ‘nearest neighbour’ councils.
- Our composite UK-wide multiple deprivation dataset for councils.
- Our composite Rural Urban Classification dataset for councils.
And this has all fed back into CAPE to make changes of local government structure transparent in the site.
We wanted to make it easier to see where there is support for climate action, so we took a few sets of MRP polling on people’s attitudes to net zero and energy sources and converted it from per-constituency to per-local council.
For each local authority (except in Northern Ireland) – see Croydon, for example – you can now see estimates for support for net zero (even when it is described as expensive), and for different kinds of renewable energy project.
Not sure what MRP polling is? We wrote something up about that.
In 2019, we were part of the UK-wide Climate Assembly, and we’ve kept an interest in citizens assemblies about climate change. There’s been one held for the whole of Scotland, and more widely we’ve found 17 (so far) held by local authorities across the UK.
We’ve uploaded the final reports of those assemblies into CAPE. It is now easy to see which authorities have held climate assemblies, and to search the results of those assemblies. Find all this at cape.mysociety.org/assemblies.
Hundreds of new documents have a fresh coat of paint
Thanks to people telling us about new plans, and us conducting an extensive search for new documents across council domains, we’ve updated and added hundreds of new documents to councils’ pages.
With all that content, we’ve gone back and tidied up the design of our council page layout, giving us more space to add explainers and summaries to each section. Why not take a look for your area?
Council Climate Action Scorecards
Let’s not forget that while all this activity has taken place on CAPE, we were also helping Climate Emergency UK with the Council Climate Action Scorecards. At the time of their launch in October, we wrote about the part we played in building the site, wrangling the data, advising on the methodology and building a scoring interface.
The result of all this is, of course, that whatever your climate interests – be you council staff, researcher, journalist, campaigner or interested member of the public – you can dive in to any council’s page to see how they’re doing against several markers of climate action.
Since launch there has also been the significant addition of Question Pages, allowing a never before seen view of how each council scores on every individual action point. Julia wrote about that in detail, in this post.