Keele University helps councils take control of climate futures
Keele University has played a crucial role in devising a new set of guidelines to help local authorities tackle the climate emergency.
The national Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) has published a new set of recommendations to help councils in Staffordshire, and the rest of the UK, to meet their net zero targets and tackle the climate emergency, based on a project initiated by Professor Zoe Robinson, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at Keele University.
The project was facilitated by CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain Innovation Lab which brings together a range of stakeholders to share ideas and discuss sustainable solutions to achieve net zero. Ten councils across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire came together to explore barriers and co-design solutions based on their own experiences and drawing in CAT’s and Keele University’s expertise.
The findings from the workshops were then used by the CAT team to create a set of recommendations to support other councils in taking action against climate change. It comes as more than 330 councils of 409 have declared a Climate Emergency.
Professor Zoe Robinson, Director of Keele’s Institute for Sustainable Futures, who initiated the project and worked collaboratively with CAT throughout the process said: “Councils have a crucial role to play in achieving the climate targets that the climate emergency mandates. Universities also have an important role to play in working with Councils and other regional stakeholders to support and drive regional climate action.
“This project has been an important milestone in accelerating collaborative climate action across the Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent region, as well as enabling the Centre for Alternative Technology to develop further work to support councils across the UK in tackling the climate emergency.”
Dr Anna Bullen, CAT Innovation Lab Manager, added: “Across the UK, councils have already acknowledged the urgency of tackling climate change and are committed to taking action — but limited resource and in-house expertise continues to be a challenge and barrier to reaching zero carbon. We hope that sharing practical learnings and recommendations as widely as possible will support councils in meeting these targets.
“The process helped the participants to better understand the barriers to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, create a vision for their county, and set out objectives towards achieving their individual and collective aims across a number of themes — from resourcing to stakeholder engagement and shared learning.
“As a result of the Lab, Staffordshire councils now plan to collaborate at a county scale to save money, work more efficiently and have a better chance of making progress at the speed and scale needed — aspirations which are undoubtedly shared by councils UK-wide.”
To read the report, visit cat.org.uk/innovation-lab-reports
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