Here’s how councils can use CAPE to ensure your Climate Action Plan is practical, effective and sufficiently ambitious.

Whether you’re a council officer, contractor or councillor with a remit for Climate: whatever your role, you’ll find this useful.

We’ve made it simple

CAPE gathers together every Climate Action Plan from every council in the UK — so you can learn from what others are doing and replicate the best ideas to work more ambitiously and more effectively towards Net Zero.

  • CHECK what councils like yours are doing
  • FORGE connections with other councils
  • SHARE what you’ve found to get your residents and internal stakeholders on board
  • TRACK other councils’ progress through the coming months and years

How councils can use CAPE


As a council, you have a tough but crucial job ahead,  getting residents’ buy-in to large-scale lifestyle and industry changes.

By comparing your plans with those of other councils you can get new ideas, see what’s working and what’s not, and base your own council’s decisions on those who have trod the same path before you. We can match you with councils that are similar to yours, in terms of their population size, their amount of emissions and how they are generated, and other factors that mean they’re facing the same problems as you.

Plus, you can use those other councils as examples, helping to bring your own residents and internal stakeholders onside with more ambitious or novel solutions. “It’s working for them, and they’re a very similar council to us,” is a compelling argument.

If you’ve made a climate action plan

You’ve still got a considerable task ahead of you — bringing residents and colleagues onboard to change the way they will live, travel and work.

You may not have worked much outside your own area when devising your Climate Action Plan. During a development phase, that makes sense; no-one knows your region and what’s possible, or not better, than you do. But now’s the time to reach out.

  • Checking what’s working in other areas will help you provide examples, facts and figures to act as social proof, especially if those areas are similar to your own in terms of size, or where your emissions mainly come from.
  • Forging contacts with your counterparts in those councils can help you discuss and assess ideas together.

You’ll also need to monitor your plan at regular points to make sure it’s having the effect you hoped and that your interventions are still appropriate. So:

  • See how other councils are managing any changes in direction, and learn from their approach.
  • Check whether innovations that were put in place earlier by other councils are having the effects that were initially predicted.

If you haven’t yet made your Climate Action plan

You’ve got ground to make up — but the good news is, you can learn from similar councils who already have their plans in place.

  • Locate the councils that are similar to yours, and see what they’ve prioritised.
  • Consider making contact with officers or councillors in those places, for ongoing support and to share notes.

Either way:

There’s also a great case for learning from one another. What are councils like yours doing — those which have a similar urban/rural profile, for example, or those with the same predominant industries, or the same designation of land?

We’ve made that easier for you with CAPE. Just:

  • Enter your postcode in the box, or allow the site to automatically locate you.
  • Find similar councils to see what ideas have been put in place elsewhere. See our blog post about a tool to help with this.
  • Councils which are geographically close are linked at the foot of our own council page.
  • If you’ve been considering certain types of initiative or want to know more about what could be done in a particular sector, use the search box to see if it features in any plans across the UK — for example, you could search for ‘electric taxis‘, ‘passivhaus‘, or ‘cycle paths‘.
  • Keep checking in. We’ll update the database as we become aware of new or changed plans from each council (please do let us know if you update yours!)

Sign up for updates

Whether your council has made a plan or not, join our mailing list and we’ll keep you updated as we add new tools to help you tackle the climate emergency at the local level.

Why local councils?

“Politics as usual won’t cut it this time: there’s a climate emergency and it’s down to our authorities and representatives to lead on implementing the changes that will take us to Net Zero.”

30% of progress towards net zero is within the scope of influence of local authorities, so this is an area where the UK can make enormous progress.

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.

Why you?

Climate Action Plans Explorer inner page (Thurrock)

You may have really progressive plans that you’re trying to push through, and you could use the example of where such technologies are already up and running: this way you can show them to the rest of your team, or use them to normalise your ideas to residents.

Or if you’re already well on your way, you could give moral support to other authorities treading the same path, giving them assurance that you really have seen results.

Alternatively, the council you’re part of may not yet have grasped the urgency with which you have to act, or you may not know that you have a mandate to make the radical changes required. Showing colleagues how hard other councils are working toward Net Zero will be a powerful persuader.

In all these cases, you’ll benefit from an open dataset that helps everyone see and understand what is — and what isn’t — being done across the country.

Let’s share everything we know, so we can all act effectively on the nation’s path to Net Zero.


Photo: wocintechchat