Mobilising Action on Climate Change: stakeholder workshops
Examining how Government policies can encourage communities and local government to achieve low-carbon communities
Project duration: May 2007 to June 2007
The workshops formed part of the Government's examination, led by Defra, of the role of the third sector (voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises) and local government in mobilising individual behaviour change to tackle climate change.
The aim of this was project was to examine how Government policies and programmes can encourage and enable communities and local government to fulfil their potential in helping achieve low-carbon communities.
To provide an opportunity for key stakeholders in these sectors to inform Government directly what they think is needed from Government and how they experience climate change policies on the ground: what works and what doesn't, and what else would help.
Two workshops, facilitated by CSE, were undertaken in London and Manchester in May 2007. The outputs of these workshops form the basis of practical advice and recommendations to be taken to Defra ministers by the end of June 2007.
The workshops follow on from the first phase of the Government's study into this issue. This was a limited review carried out by CSE in partnership with Community Development Xchange (CDX) in January and February of this year. It looked at community initiatives and how they can encourage individuals to change their behaviour.
Participants in the workshops undertook a set of group work sessions which aimed to elicit their views on what roles third sector organisations and local government can play to help achieve low carbon communities, what would be needed from government in order to support them to start to perform these roles or to perform them better, and how well government is currently supporting them in these roles. The document summarises the results of these group work sessions.
The main conclusions from this project were:
- In relation to climate change, the strongest role for third sector organisations was considered to be communication of information about climate change and how to reduce emissions, making national programmes locally relevant, and encouraging collective action.
- For local authorities, the strongest roles were making the link between national policy and the local situation, setting incentives and disincentives for behaviour change, showing visible leadership, integrating climate change into all policies, and delivering projects.
- The suggestions for action needed from government were split between those that would make action easier for third-sector groups and local authorities (and in the case of local authorities, actions that would make action on CO2 mandatory or a much higher priority in more areas) and those that would make it easier for individuals to change their behaviour.
- The themes coming out most strongly in terms of government actions were an increase in requirements on local authorities to take action on climate change, and the need for funding to increase third sector activity on climate change.