just transition

“Fix the broken system”

This article originally appeared in the Municipal Journal.

At a time when both Westminster and the Scottish Government have U-turned on their climate commitments, local governments across the UK are plugging the gap in their efforts to tackle climate crisis. However, while localities recognise that climate action will be one of the critical factors shaping our places so that they are fit for the future, this work often goes under the radar, under-appreciated and under-funded.

Local authorities are taking action on climate because they know it’s the right thing for their places and not, as one officer put it, “because the government is allowing us to.”


    Our places, our planet

    15th May 2024

    A roadmap to decarbonisation

    10th November 2022
  • Retrofit: combatting wealth extraction

    Ahead of new research from CLES, IPPR North and South of Scotland Enterprise, investigating the possibilities of using a community wealth building approach to housing retrofit, CLES’s Antonia Jennings lays out the extent of the opportunity.

    As the cost-of-living crisis threatens to drive a million people into fuel poverty and while around 19% of carbon emissions in the UK come from home heating, the just decarbonisation of energy in our homes has never been more important.

    Who will own the energy transition?

    To mark the release of the Community-led Energy Planning toolkit, Helen Power looks back at the pilot project on which the toolkit is based and considers how ownership relates to the just transition. 

    There can be no doubt of the willingness of local authorities to support and advance on the UK’s 2050 net zero target, nor that they are well placed to translate national ambitions into action. Our councils have centuries of pedigree in acting as place shapers, problem solvers and conveners, but locally-led interventions can often place them in the firing line of both public and political resistance
    “Oldham Energy Futures […] has taken a different approach”
    Citizens assemblies and juries are increasingly popular as a means to building public legitimacy on climate related decision-making. But, while these approaches build consensus amongst participants regarding solutions already on the table, they are rarely used to shape the delivery of energy transition interventions themselves. The Oldham Energy Futures project, of which CLES has been a delivery partner over the last 18 months, has taken a different approach.  

    Caring for the earth, caring for each other

    During the peak of the first lockdown, people gathered on their doorsteps to clap for carers. Now it’s time to truly recognise their value.

    The inadequacies of England’s current adult social care system have been harrowingly exposed by Covid-19. However, the origins of the present crisis long precede the pandemic. For too long, caring and nurturing work, predominantly performed by women, has been devalued. Caring for the earth, caring for each other: a radical industrial strategy for adult social care, a new joint report from CLES and Common Wealth, argues that care work should be valued and invested in as green work, and calls for a people-centred industrial strategy for adult social care.
    “the care system should be at the heart of the plan for a just and green recovery”
    The devaluation of care work has been accelerated by privatisation and commercialisation, which has driven a race to the bottom in care worker pay and conditions and a deterioration in care quality. Reimagining the care system should be at the heart of the plan for a just and green recovery from Covid-19. In designing the more just and sustainable decarbonised economy of the future, care must be recognised as a service vital for our collective wellbeing: one that needs to be substantially expanded and better valued.

  • Climate emergency is here. For local economies, this changes everything.

    As we head into a new decade, it is now impossible to ignore the fact that the climate emergency will be the dominant issue above all others in the 2020s.

    Whether it be Bolsonaro burning the Amazon or, closer to home, vast flooding across Yorkshire and the Peak District, events in recent months have breathed terrifying life into Greta Thunberg’s assertion that ‘we need to act as if our house is on fire, because it is.’