“Our future will not be conceived or implemented as a unitary plan. It will be invented in this way: piecemeal, haphazardly, locally. As modern societies steer away from government and towards governance, and from hierarchical control to networks, influence is inexorably shifting to citizens. The localism of our time is not narrow-minded parochialism or insular thinking; it is connected and emergent.”
- Civic Revolution
In the UK, local councils are the most common type of local government authority, and they touch the lives of everybody, every day. There are 390 principal councils across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This number is multiplied almost thirty times when you include all the town, parish, community, neighbourhood and village councils. To date, three-quarters of all principal councils have declared an environmental and climate emergency, with the majority pledging to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 – twenty years ahead of the national target. They are the ones who are leading the way, in their ambition and their actions. The future is already here, it's just not very evenly distributed.
A transition to a zero carbon economy in the UK is technically achievable, according to the Committee on Climate Change (the statutory committee set up to advise the UK and its devolved governments on tackling and preparing for climate change). The committee acknowledges that many of the policies that will drive this progress will not be designed in Westminster – they are devolved decisions that will be defined and implemented at local government level.
Carbon Copy is a UK-based, non-profit organisation that speeds up climate action by connecting local communities, councils and companies who share the goal of a carbon zero future. Engaged citizens, progressive local authorities and agile employers can move fast, and this is a critical advantage given the urgency of the climate crisis. By scaling down to scale up, we can make local change massive.
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