Our places, our planet

15th May 2024.

We stand on a precipice, one that is simultaneously fraught with danger and alive with possibility. That urgent action is needed on climate change is beyond doubt. Nor is there any question that our places are best situated and willing to deliver the bulk of this action.

But they are struggling. A myriad of barriers have prevented progress at the needed scale and still more are preventing local and combined authorities from seizing the era defining opportunity to build new local economies that are simultaneously greener and more inclusive. This research identifies and asks two of the most vital questions we need to consider if we are to create the conditions for this shift:

  • What are the barriers preventing progress on local climate action?
  • How can that progress be optimised so that, as well as enabling the scale of action needed, it builds community wealth?

Our answers to these questions were developed using existing research on the importance of the local in climate action and informed by discussions with people working in local and combined authorities.

The insights gathered revealed five national policy barriers to delivering climate action that can support the growth of more inclusive local economies. Our recommendations to overcome these barriers outline the changes needed from the government at Westminster to enable local and combined authorities to deliver climate action at the scale and pace required. Put together they set out a roadmap for seizing the opportunity to reshape our local economies so that they build community wealth while delivering vital local climate action.