Criteria for UK councils’ climate action scorecard revealed

Councils across the UK are set to be scored on their climate action to ensure transparency and encourage them to take further action.

Environmental organisation Climate Emergency UK has now set out the criteria it will be using to access the green credentials of councils through Council Climate Action Scorecards.

The organisation is the first to measure councils’ abilities to reduce emissions, with a three-stage marking process, including a Right to Reply, included in the procedure.

They say the scorecards will help campaigners and councillors to understand what climate action is possible from councils and where they can improve.

peope sitting around table

Hannah Jewell, Campaigns and Policy Officer at Climate Emergency UK said: ‘Earlier this year we published our Climate Action Plan Scorecards, evaluating every councils’ plan for taking climate action. It is much more of a challenge to score what councils are actually doing, which is why we have put so much effort into developing this methodology and we’re excited to share it today.

‘We hope that publishing the methodology before we start marking will help to ensure that we score councils as accurately as possible. This gives councils some time to prepare, and make sure all those important documents and evidence of their climate action is publicly available for us to find.’

Scorecards have been created through nine months of research and consultation from over 80 organisations and individuals within the sector, including councillors and council officers. Organisations such as The Campaign to Protect Rural England, Anthesis, Campaign for Better Transport, Possible, Keep Britain Tidy were also consulted.

Councils will be asked 90 questions in total covering seven different areas, including buildings and heating, transport, governance and finance, planning, biodiversity, collaboration and engagement, and waste reduction and food.

An advisory board made up with representatives from Ashden, mySociety and climate campaign groups also met monthly to provide more in-depth comments on the scorecards.

One board member, Cllr Donna Stimson (Conservative), Climate Lead at Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council, said: ‘It’s been a real pleasure working with Climate Emergency UK on creating the Scorecards methodology. They have dived deep into the complexities of local government and the differences across the UK. This methodology is a really useful barometer of what climate action councils could be doing and this methodology will be a useful tool for climate action officers all around the country, even before the Scorecard results come out next year.’

Climate Emergency UK will start scoring councils on their climate action in January, with the Scorecard results to be published in Autumn 2023.

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