Here’s how climate action campaigners can use CAPE to make meaningful change happen more quickly at the local level.
Charities, organisations or networks, large or small: whatever you are, you’ll find this useful.
We’ve made it simple
CAPE shows you your council’s plan, and how it compares to others — so you and your members can encourage your own local authority to work more ambitiously and more effectively towards Net Zero.
You can use the materials below, and ask your members to:
- CHECK what their council is doing
- COMPARE with other councils
- CONTACT their representatives
How climate groups can use CAPE
- Make CAPE the focus of your next get-together: examine your local action plan for a full understanding of what has been proposed.
- Look together at what other councils are doing, and decide what to push for in your own area.
- Make contact with your local councillors as a group. State your expectations for your council to act ambitiously on the climate emergency, while led by science. You can use WriteToThem to contact your councillors easily.
- Set up a meeting with your local councillor or climate officer (in person or online) so you can discuss the local plan together, and show them how to see what other councils are doing. Encourage your council to learn from others, gain new ideas and adopt best practice.
- No action plan in your area? Request one as a matter of urgency.
- Share your findings in public in press releases, letters to the local paper or social media posts. Applaud positive change and call out poor climate practice.
- Tell your followers about CAPE in your newsletter, social media, website or blog.
Sign up to mySociety’s mailing list and we will keep you updated when we add new features to help you keep your council on the path to net zero.
Let us know when you use the tool: we want to share your stories to inspire other groups to take action, too.
What your members can do
Your supporters and followers can play an important part in the decisions that their councils make: indeed it was, in many cases, only the action of local residents that encouraged councils to declare a climate emergency in the first place.
If your supporters are looking for practical actions they can do to help fight the climate emergency, this is a good place to begin.
Help spread the word
We’ve pre-written social media posts and a newsletter article to make it as easy as possible to spread the word about the Climate Action Plans Explorer. You can also find some graphics to accompany tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts.
Why local councils?
“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.”
30% of progress towards net zero is within the scope of influence of local authorities1 and this is an area where you can make real change — councillors care about their residents’ priorities and will listen to the concerns of citizens.
78% local authorities (at the time of writing) have published a Climate Action Plan, committing to the tasks that will help them achieve net zero for their area.
These plans 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 the council can have some effect over. Some include crucial factors such as a calculation of the current carbon footprint; others do not. And almost a quarter of councils have not yet created an action plan at all.
Some councils may not yet have grasped the urgency with which they have to act, or they may not know that they have a mandate to make the radical changes required. On the other side, some may have really progressive plans they’re trying to push through and they need you to show that you think this is important.
We must ensure that our elected representatives are working as hard and as ambitiously as they can to reach net zero. We must do it for ourselves, for those at the sharp end of climate change, and for the generations yet to come — and that’s where climate action campaigners come in.
We don’t have time to sit back and hope our representatives will do the necessary work, so we need to make our voices heard more loudly, and more urgently.
Let’s all work together with a single message.
1 Climate Change Committee: Local Authorities and the Sixth Carbon Budget
Photo: Alexis Brown