News: Academy of Social Sciences publishes CCE ‘Empowering Communities’ blog 

13 Jun 2024

The Academy of Social Science (ACSS) has been running an Election 24 project which foregrounds social science perspectives on key policy issues ahead of this year’s UK General Election. This recently featured a blog written by Senior Researcher, Sophy Bristow, on Empowering communities: the importance of local action in the transition to net zero. The blog emphasises the critical role of local action and community involvement in achieving net zero emissions.

Key Points include:

Two examples of recent CCE projects were discussed in the blog. Firstly, a briefing which highlights the importance of local action in the transition to net zero, with Dr Samuel Ruiz-Tagle, a Research Associate in Administrative Law and Governance. This emphasises the importance of local action in achieving net zero emissions, particularly within the context of planning law and the UK’s Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill. The briefing highlights the vital role of local planning authorities in combating climate change, despite past challenges like limited administrative capacity. Ruiz-Tagle noted that authorities often make critical decisions on development proposals; they need more support and resources because their decisions have immediate impacts on their communities. 

The blog also references a project which exemplifies effective local climate action through its collaborative approach. Work has begun to establish a governance framework to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the local level, aligning with national climate change objectives and accounting and reporting protocols. The project, known as ‘locally determined contributions,’ builds upon the findings of the Skidmore Review of the UK’s net zero strategy, which emphasized the critical role of local government leadership and place-based actions in addressing the climate crisis. The project received funding from Innovate UK’s Net Zero Living Programme. The CCE is developing the LDC framework, whilst Cambridgeshire County Council is leading the project, working with partners including Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Cambridge City Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, and Collaborate CIC.  

Read the full blog on the Academy for Social Sciences website here