Councillors Climate Support Network

Establishing a Climate Emergency support network

Following up on interest from several councils who enquired about support available for action around the climate emergency, including seeking to understand the potential of developing a network, Devon Communities Together (DCT) collaboratively designed a survey to better understand the range of current actions undertaken and the needs and demands of councils across Devon. In December 2020 and January 2021 107 total responses were received to this survey (from 97 unique councils).

Full survey findings can be found by clicking the link below:

 Council Climate Survey

The findings showed strong support for developing a network and primary support needs named were:

  • a) Community engagement and consultation to develop future plans.
  • b) Support in creating baseline analysis of CO2 emissions in their community.

Devon Communities Together have hosted two events so far in 2021 (in April and July) via Zoom. These events have had over 120 attendees (mostly councillors, clerks and members of associated working groups), and have had space for expert speakers, as well as collective conversation and peer learning.

Our expert speakers so far have covered: the use of carbon baselining tools; stakeholder mapping and community engagement; ‘visioning’ as a form of community engagement; Environmental Land Management schemes and changing farmer/landowner priorities. Clicking the above links will lead to videos of our speakers.

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We know the scale and diversity of challenges which need to be addressed can feel overwhelming and 37% network attendees to date have said they are ‘not confident’ or ‘not very confident’ on the climate emergency, 42% said they were confident (knowledgeable on some areas), 21% said they were very confident. This diversity of experience lays an ideal platform for peer-support. All communities are welcome, and we expect fruitful inter-council conversations, 42% of attendees so far have represented communities of less than 1,000 people and we see this network being of especially value for the stretched resources of smaller community councils.

The network is an emerging and developing project, and it will be shaped by the input of it’s members. Members will be involved in deciding key topics and strategic direction, as well as sharing best practice and case studies.

The third meeting is on the 30th of November:

Tickets and details here

For more information, please contact harry.bonnell@devoncommunities.org.uk

There are a wealth of resources on the internet to start addressing issues in your community. Below are some links we have found useful:

- Devon Climate Emergency Website

- Carbon calculator calibrated for parish/town councils

- A mapping tool for local councils with a wide range of applications

- Carbon literacy toolkits developed for local authorities