Working with your Local Councillors
City, county and combined local councils are our most accessible form of democratically elected government. Councils have an important leadership role, and with over 21,000 councillors in England alone there is a large scope to engage local councillors on addressing climate change. Local councils develop local plans for transport, housing, energy, city planning and waste, and so there are many ways that councils could make climate change mitigation a priority in the sectors that they have influence over.
Encouragingly, local councils across the country have been declaring climate emergencies and setting dates to aim for carbon neutrality, for example Nottingham has committed to become a net zero carbon city by 2028. This has come after extensive campaigning by local environmental groups, Extinction Rebellion and the school strike for climate. This offers a brilliant opportunity for campaigners and residents to work with their councillors in developing local responses to tackle the climate crisis. Find out whether your local council has declared a climate emergency.
There are many areas in which local government can have a major effect; from developing overarching climate change mitigation plans, to communicating about the climate emergency to residents, to integrating climate change mitigation across all departments and into all local plans, for example on transport, housing and energy . However a lack of government funding for local councils is impeding their ability to provide a strong plan of action for addressing the climate emergency.
We are doing a research project to assist campaigners and residents to effectively engage with their local council upon climate change, both in terms of how to constructively communicate your concerns surrounding climate change to councillors, and what measures and actions locals councils could be taking to tackle the climate emergency.
If you’d like to contact your local council, use the link to find out who your local councillors are. And follow the buttons below for even more information.