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Updated methodology released for Council Climate Action Scorecards

Climate Emergency UK’s framework for scoring local authorities on emissions reductions has been updated ahead of the next analysis. 


The second Council Climate Action Scorecards will be published in summer 2025, assessing policies and schemes rolled out by UK local authorities over the previous 12 months. This is based on publicly available information from councils and national datasets. 

A three stage marking process will again be implemented, with a series of new questions added to produce more targeted results. These include plans to introduce more and improve green space in planning processes, building-in decarbonisation plans, and facilitating ways for staff to engage with a councils’ decarbonisation plan on an individual basis. Scorecards comprise seven sections such as Biodiversity, Collaboration & Engagement, and Buildings & Heating, with Governance & Finance and Transport seeing the highest number of updates.

There are now 93 questions in total, up from 91 on the previous iteration. Whole-of-area emissions are also taken into account, meaning not only will a council’s own greenhouse gas output be factored into scoring – from vehicle fleet to estate – but also emissions from planning policy, including approval for retrofitting and net zero-complaint new homes. Fundraising for climate action projects and the protection and maintenance of green spaces will also contribute to overall ranking, as will partnerships with residents and local businesses.

You can find the full methodology here.

‘We’re excited to share our updated draft methodology for the next Scorecards, which we believe is much improved in terms of providing greater clarity on some questions and better reflecting the reality of council climate action across the UK,’ said Anne Pickering, Operations Director at Climate Emergency UK. ‘The updates have been introduced as a result of consultation with councils and residents who shared their thoughts with us on how the questions can be more accurate and useful to understand council climate action.’

‘By engaging with local authorities, they are working towards the development of the Scorecards as an effective tool that can guide UK councils to gauge their own progress and learn from each other. It may also prove a useful national lobbying tool for evidenced-based deliveries where common challenges exist,’ added Ania Campbell, Climate Change Manager at North Kesteven District Council, a member of the latest Scorecards Advisory Group. As the climate crisis worsens with the planet enduring record hot temperatures for April 2024 and continuing, council climate action has never been more urgent. Whilst there are national barriers to council climate action, 30% of progress towards net zero is within the scope of influence of local authorities.’

More on net zero and climate change: 

Gen Alpha, Gen Z demand green spaces and robot litter pickers

WATCH: Nature recovery plan guide for renewable energy sites

10 ways organisations can protect themselves from extreme weather

Image: Saad Ahmad


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