Here’s how researchers can use the data underlying CAPE to discover new insights and achieve a full understanding of the nation’s transition to Net Zero.

Academic researcher, campaign-driven analyst or data journalist? You’ll find this dataset offers valuable routes of enquiry.

What are Climate Action Plans?

Councils across the UK declared a Climate Emergency in 2020. Since then, many have published Climate Action Plans: public documents setting out how they intend to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

These cover emissions from the councils’ own operations and, in many cases, activities, industry, housing and transport across the wider community.

But until now, each plan was published in isolation on the councils’ own websites. Some were easy to locate, others were hidden deep within the minutes of meetings gone by.

We’ve made it simple

To remedy this, mySociety and Climate Emergency UK created CAPE, bringing together plans from every council in the UK in one coherent dataset.

As an academic researcher, campaign-driven analyst or data journalist,  you can use this tool to discover new insights and achieve a full understanding of the nation’s transition to Net Zero.

How researchers can use CAPE

CAPE features

  • Search for specific councils to see whether they have a plan.
  • Bulk download all plans.
  • Search for specific keywords or phrases across all councils.
  • New! A rudimentary API

Coming soon:

Let’s keep in touch

Keep us informed about the research you do and we’ll share it with our research community, TICTeC events and beyond. Let us know what features you would find useful: we’re in active development and keen to hear what you need.

Join our mailing list and we’ll keep you up to date with new useful tools as we develop them, and our research events.

Why local councils?

30% of progress towards net zero is within the scope of local authorities; at the time of writing, 78% local authorities have published a Climate Action Plan, listing the tasks that will help them achieve net zero for their area.
Is yours one of them? Check here

“Politics as usual won’t cut it this time: there’s a climate emergency and it’s down to us to make sure our elected representatives know what we expect from them.”

But these vary wildly: some are very detailed; others are vague.

Some focus only on the councils’ own emissions; others take into account the wider impact of local businesses, planning, land and everything under the council’s control.

Some include crucial factors such as a calculation of the current emissions; others do not.

And almost a quarter of councils have not created an action plan at all.

Research plays a crucial part here, in looking at the aggregate picture across the country and helping hold councils to account for the promises they’ve made.

Image: Surface