Ambitious climate emergency response plans emerge

With almost 2,000 councils around the world having declared that we are in a climate emergency, what next? Now what?

Below are just a few examples of what is currently happening in councils, boroughs and shires that have declared a climate emergency: Climate emergency response plans which involve the entire community are emerging as a direct result of the climate emergency declarations with the change of language, increased levels of awareness and ambition and all the many debates in the communities that these declarations have created.



Australia: Community sets out to reach zero carbon by 2031

Borough of Queenscliffes’ draft climate emergency response plan shows how the community will reach zero carbon by 2031.

Natalee Kerr wrote in Geelong Advertiser:

“Queenscliff plans to be carbon free in a decade. The Borough of Queenscliffe has outlined three ambitious climate change actions to achieve over the next decade, including becoming a zero-carbon community by 2031.

Since declaring a climate emergency in December 2019, the council has worked with the community on a plan to prevent and prepare for climate change in the borough.

Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale were already being affected by the impacts of climate change, due to an increasing risk from coastal inundation, sea level rise and bushfires, council said.

Council released its draft Climate Emergency Response Plan this week detailing three key targets, including becoming a zero-carbon community by 2031, and matching the community’s energy needs and electricity consumption by a 100 per cent renewable supply within six years.

The targets are supported by 54 individual action items across eight pillars including renewable energy, sustainable buildings, consumption and waste, and sustainable transport.

Mayor Ross Ebbels said the ambitious plan reflected the need many consultation participants saw for a rapid, local response.

“Declaring a climate emergency showed that our community recognises the importance of acting quickly to prevent and prepare for climate change,” Cr Ebbels said. “This plan now puts that recognition into practice with a clear path to making the borough a zero-carbon community.”

Queenscliffe Climate Action Group founder Kitty Walker said the group worked closely with council to develop the plan, drawing on successful climate emergency responses across the world.

“This draft plan has been developed by the community for the community and will leave a lasting legacy for future generations,” she said.

→ More information on:


USA: Toolkit for reaching zero emissions by 2030

In the United States, a new Climate Mobilization 2030 Toolkit & Policy Platform was launched on 29 March 2021. It offers “a step-by-step blueprint for people and organisations to get their communities involved by passing Climate Emergency Declarations, and follow-up Climate Emergency Programs to enact real policy making mobilisation at the local level.”

“If you’re thinking about taking action and want to learn more about reaching zero emissions by 2030, or are curious about what comes next after declaring climate emergency, and no matter whether you’re an individual or part of a local climate group, this new resource is a guide to moving your community into emergency mode,” writes the Climate Mobilization.

→ Access the Climate Mobilization 2030 Toolkit & Policy Platform


UK: 126 communities target net zero carbon by 2030

126 local authorities have set a net zero target of 2030 for their whole District, Borough or County, reported in their newsletter of 1 April 2021:

April newsletter from

Scientists Warning Europe’s Action Briefing webinar brought top scientists together to share the latest in climate change science with local authorities. To be frank the science is disturbing. Every single scientist urged us to raise our game. So, this week we are kicking off our 2030 Pledge campaign.

We have established that approx. 126 local authorities (of all political leaderships) have already set a net zero target of 2030 for their whole District/Borough/County. Now we need the rest of our local authorities to do so.

The local, and regional, elections on May 6th, are a big opportunity for us to get candidates to commit to net-zero by 2030. And we’ve set up a 2030 pledge for candidates to sign (sitting councillors are also encouraged to sign). Hundreds of candidates, from every major party, have already signed the pledge. But we are asking for your support to see thousands of candidates commit to the 2030 pledge. Will you…

  1. Ask your local councillors and candidates to sign the pledge?
  2. Sign up to become a local co-ordinator for this campaign? If this matters to you do give me a call on 07716 246672, or email We’ll be continuing the campaign post elections to rally councillors, local authorities as well as other public bodies, companies etc. to commit to the same.

2030 Pledge:
As a Councillor, I pledge to do everything in my power to ensure our local authority works in collaboration with the local community to:

  • set a target date of no later than 2030 to reach net zero emissions for our whole District/County/Borough.
  • develop and implement an ambitious Climate Action Plan that allows people, enterprise and nature to thrive.
  • ensure that tackling the climate and ecological emergency is a priority in all the actions and decisions of the local authority.

I will continue to inform myself about the climate change and biodiversity crises in order to better influence policy making, and to lead by example.

We can’t achieve this very challenging target on our own. And we know that the Government is taking notice. They can only be influenced to take bolder, more effective action by many more of us stepping up our actions and ambitions around a 2030 target.
There’s a lot happening at the moment. We’re expecting much more in the run up to COP26 in November. We are also busy updating our list of Climate Emergency declarations to include declarations of an ‘Ecological Emergency’ and the inclusion of Adaptation measures, as well as clarifying target dates for both council and area wide targets. This should be ready over the next couple of weeks.

Best wishes,
Cllr. Kevin Frea

Climate & Ecological Emergency Work Placements
We have been approved for funding from the Kickstart scheme to appoint 2 x trainees for 25 hours each a week for 6 months. Applicants will need to be 16-24, on Universal Credit and apply through their Job Centre Work Coach. The vacancies may not go live for a while yet, but do send us an email if you, or someone you know, might be interested, and we’ll keep you updated. The successful applicants will not only get very useful work experience, but also we’re lining up some awesome training & mentoring.
Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill
Local Authorities are being encouraged to update their climate emergency motions by adding a declaration of an ‘Ecological Emergency’ and shortening their target dates, as well as including support for the ‘Climate & Ecological Emergency Bill that is currently being promoted as a Private Members Bill by more than 100 MPs of a variety of political parties. Here is an example on the LGA website of the motion that Watford Council passed. We’ll say more about this in our next Newsletter.
Enabling rapid climate action: The experience of local decision-makers
This webinar, by Lancaster Environment Centre, presented the findings of research with local government stakeholders – both officers and elected representatives – from three cities, Belfast, Edinburgh and Leeds. The project is part of the Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN). A recording of the webinar, and the research findings, are available here.
Bus Back Better A long term strategy for buses in England, outside London

From the Rural Services Network: “The Prime Minister has announced the “most ambitious shake-up of the bus sector in a generation, which will see lower, simpler flat fares in towns and cities, turn-up-and-go services on main routes, and new flexible services to reconnect communities.
The government’s new bus strategy, backed by £3 billion of investment, will see passengers across England benefiting from more frequent, more reliable, easier to use and understand, better coordinated and cheaper bus services.
Levelling up services across the country will encourage more people to use the bus, rather than the car, as we build back better from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.” Read the strategy here.
A Climate Engagement Trello Board has been set up by Emily Tulloh to collect examples of community engagement by local authorities on the Climate and Ecological Emergency. You can view the board here. Please email us examples of good practice you would like to share on the board.
LGA Publication – Climate Change Communications
This resource highlights emerging best-practice communications of those local authorities who have declared a climate emergency and are now successfully communicating their approach to both residents and businesses in their area and internally within the organisation.
The LGA collection of case studies brings together a wealth of different approaches each tailored to address a specific challenge in very different local authorities facing very different climate change issues.
LGA – Local Path to Net Zero
“As the UK prepares to host COP26, it is time to translate the national ambition for a green industrial revolution into transformative local action and councils, with their local partners, are leading the way.” The LGA are working to showcase and promote local climate action in the lead up to COP26, and have invited stakeholders, partners, think tanks and industry experts to share their perspectives on the importance of the local path to net zero. The first of these contributions are now on the LGA website. They are themed on the five Presidency campaign areas identified by Government for COP26: energy transition, clean transport, nature, finance, adaptation and resilience.”
Our evolving Climate Action Plan Checklist
We’re delighted that APSE Energy have joined Ashden, Friends of the Earth and the Centre for Alternative Technology in contributing to our checklist. We’ve started to compare some of the more comprehensive action plans with the checklist, and we’ll be sharing the results as we do this. We need lots of people to join in for their own local authority, so do let us know at if you’d like to take part and we’ll give you some training.
Local Authority Climate Officers and Climate Contacts
Have you ever struggled to find the contact information for who to contact in your council about climate related matters? We certainly have! So we are creating a directory of who to contact about climate related things within all local authorities across the UK. We need your help! Who would you contact within your local authority? Are you the contact? Please complete this form.