New carbon footprinting tool for parish councils

22 June 2020

Over the next six months, and in partnership with Midlands Energy Hub, CSE will develop a tool that will enable parish councils and local communities to estimate baseline carbon emissions for their area. This will be calculated using information about energy use, travel behaviours and the consumption of goods and services modelled at household level and scaled up to better reflect individual communities.

The tool will enable the development of meaningful and locally appropriate carbon reduction strategies by parish councils that allow them to support their district and county councils with well-targeted activity that focuses on big-emissions sectors rather than spending time on well-meaning but low-impact activities. It will allow users to test out a number of scenarios designed to demonstrate the potential impact of different projects on their overall carbon footprint.

CSE's Annette Lamley said, "To tackle the climate emergency, we need the involvement of all levels of government, from the commanding heights of Westminster down to parish councils. The latter have a critical role to play being uniquely placed to inspire grassroots movements, set a leadership example and deliver practical local action.

And we know from the many requests for assistance that CSE receives from parish councillors that many  are determined to play their part. So we're hugely encouraged by that BEIS (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) has recognised the role of parish councils and is funding a project to develop a community-level footprinting tool." 

Helping us build it ...

Thanks to the many parish councillors and clerks who are helping us develop and the test the tool. We put out a call and around 170 parishes signed up to trial the prototype and provide feedback on its format and content. Amazing response, and we look forward to cracking on with the development!

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