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How to use the Scorecards

Learn how to use them

How to use the Council Climate Plan Scorecards for climate action in your area.

The Council Climate Plan Scorecards let you see, at a glance, how your own council’s plan performs in comparison to the plans of other councils across the UK.

Based on common themes we saw when marking council Climate Action plans we have written a short summary, ‘10 ways to improve your Council’s Climate Action Plan’. This covers 10 things that councils can do to improve their Climate Action Plans based on our Scorecards.

Download: Top 10 policy document

But once you’ve checked that out, you might be wondering what to do with this information. That’s quite understandable — the path from data to action isn’t always clear! So with that in mind we’ve gathered together some ways in which you, as residents and community groups, can use this data to bring about meaningful change.

Don’t forget you can download the raw dataset in spreadsheet form to do even further analysis.

Quick and simple actions you can take right now

Tweet at your council

You’ll find each council’s Twitter handle on their page of the Climate Action Plans Scorecards website.

You can use our suggested tweet below, check out our media pack for more ideas, or compose your own tweet - just remember to @ your council in.

Suggested tweet

Up to 30% of the UK’s transition to zero carbon is within the influence of local councils - that’s why I’m checking [@TWITTER NAME OF YOUR COUNCIL]’s Climate Action Plan on [LINK TO COUNCIL’S PAGE ON SCORECARDS SITE] 📋 #CouncilClimateScorecards.

Why?

It helps show your council — and your followers — that you care about the steps they say they’re taking towards net zero, and that there's support for strong action amongst their residents.

Share your council’s score

With your own social networks - social media, email, word of mouth - however you can ensure more people see it.

Why?

The more exposure the Scorecards get, the more conversation there will be around councils taking strong climate action, bringing the idea into the mainstream.

Send a letter to the local newspaper

We've shared a template letter in the media pack, which you can personalise as you wish. You can find the email address for your local paper on their contact us page on their website, and put ‘letter to editor’ in the email title.

Why?

Local press is an effective route to reaching an audience that cares about your local community.

Send a press release to your local paper or radio station/s

Here’s a template which you can edit and send.

Why?

Local media really helps us get the word out, but we need your help to make sure we've covered every outlet. Councillors always read their local paper, so this is a great way to make sure your council sees the Scorecards and is encouraged to do more.

Sign our petition

Sign our petition asking Michael Gove to allocate more funding and support to councils’ action on climate change

Why?

Councils may be finding it hard to achieve all that they want or need to because of a lack of funds from central government.

Do a little more

  • Read our Campaigners Guide to the Council Climate Plan Scorecards to work out how best to push your council for change

    Why?

    Research and data can be vital tools in persuading councils to take action, if you know how to use them!

  • Join us online in February for an online masterclass on what these Scorecards mean and how you can use them in your campaigning.

    Why?

    Research and data can be vital tools in persuading councils to take action, if you know how to use them!

  • Join a local campaign group You could take a look at groups listed on Friends of the Earth Climate Action Group Map, or with Campaign Against Climate Change, on Climate Network (some groups might appear on multiple maps!) or find or start your own group locally.

    Why?

    Acting alone can be daunting, and it's easier to shape an actionable request based on the data when you have a group to discuss it with.

  • Get in touch with your local Councillor with a remit for the environment. At least one of your councillors will sit on your council’s environment committee. Check out our Campaigners’ Guide to the Council Climate Scorecards on how to find them and how to know what to say.

    Why?

    Using the Scorecards as a basis for your conversation, you may be able to secure a commitment to faster or more ambitious climate action.

  • Submit a question to your local council meeting Every member of the public has the right to do this. Sounds a little intimidating? Check out our Campaigners’ Guide to the Council Climate Scorecards for more on how to do this.

    Why?

    This is a way of getting climate action directly onto the council’s agenda.

If you’re already part of an action group

  • Read our Campaigners Guide to the Council Climate Plan Scorecards to work out how best to push your council for change

    Why?

    Research and data can be vital tools in persuading councils to take action, if you know how to use them!

  • Help us spread the word. Check out our media pack for resources that you can adapt for your communication channels and social networks.

    Why?

    You can get the word out to your climate-engaged membership, and get them to take the actions we listed above.

  • Run an event or meeting based around the league Online or in person.

    Why?

    Sometimes it’s easier to explain things, and enthuse people to take action, face to face.

Still got questions?

Feel free to get in touch

Contact us

How to use the Scorecards as a Councillor or Officer

The Scorecards score each council’s Climate Action Plan on 28 questions across 9 sections, following Climate Emergency UK’s checklist

This scoring can only represent what has been captured within the councils’ public plans; not every action they have taken — although the published plans do tend to cover the majority of a council’s climate activity.

Don’t forget to check out our ‘Top 10 ways to Improve your Climate Action Plan’ summary document, which is written in response to some of the common themes we noticed in Council Climate Action Plans and how they could be improved.

Download: Top 10 policy document

Here are some helpful tips on how best to understand this data and use it for meaningful improvement to your council’s planned activity.

  • Take time to understand the methodology and what exactly the markers were looking for in each question.
  • Look at each section score. You might have scored particularly well in some sections but not in others: why is that? Use the filter buttons to see which councils have scored highly in the sections that you didn’t score as well on. What have these councils done differently with their plans, and what can you learn from this?
  • Make use of the filter tools. Use the various criteria such as urbanisation, deprivation or population size to discover councils that are similar to yours, and see where the strengths and weaknesses are in their climate action plans.
    Or check your neighbouring councils: where have they scored well, and can you learn from them?
    These filters can help you understand more about what councils similar to you have done, and where you might be able to share learnings — or even budgets!
  • Remember that a low score might not indicate a lack of plans; it might be a result of weaker communication. Do you need to make sure that your plans are publicly available, from a page that’s easier to find on your website? Or is your council making progress that isn’t captured in the plan?
  • Share your successes. If you are a council that has scored well in a particular section, or overall, can you share your learnings and successes with other councils so that they can make progress faster and more easily?

These Scorecards are publicly available online, so you may well find that residents, local campaign groups or other councillors ask about your council’s Climate Action Plan and Scorecard result.

We believe this is a real benefit of the project: for climate action to be effective, first, everyone needs to understand what is being done and why. That’s the first step toward residents’ buy-in. There’s a further advantage to having more people fully up to speed with the council’s plans: as the net widens, you’ll have access to more people with skills, experience, capacity or ideas worth sharing.

If you are interested in finding out more about your council’s score, including the evidence used for each score and analysis on how you could improve, please contact us. We are looking into providing further (for a fee) advice on how a council can improve their plan.