Skip to main content

Climate Change Blog

This blog page features updates about ADEPT's work on climate change.

Latest post

Climate change blog – what next for local climate action?

The Climate Change Board, ADEPT’s latest addition to its subject boards is celebrating its first birthday. ADEPT Policy Officer David Dale gives an update.

Set up in April 2023, ADEPT’s Climate Change Board is chaired by Nigel Riglar, who is also our representative on the Local Net Zero Forum (LNZF) with government and other local authority bodies. 

Nigel is supported by Andy Gutherson – Andy also sits on the LNZF in his role as Chair of the Local Adaptation Advisory Panel (LAAP) which brings together local authority officers and Defra officials.

Climate Change Board – an overview

Membership of the Board is designed to get wide representation from ADEPT’s other subject and regional boards and to include colleagues who are involved in partner organisations such as the Blueprint Coalition and the LGA’s Sustainability Action Network. 

The Board is the voice of ADEPT when speaking on strategic climate change issues. It aims to identify key issues and to influence policy and delivery via key national forums including the LNZF and LAAP. We collaborate with a range of partners to do this. 

The focus of the Board’s first year has been shaped by the workplans of the LNZF and the LAAP, and by the various national strategies and reviews published during over the past year. This includes the Energy Security Strategy and updated Net Zero Strategy, Chris Skidmore’s review of the Net Zero Strategy, the third National Adaptation Programme, and the net zero target changes announced by the PM last September. 

A wide range of guest speakers have attended the Board’s meetings to present on different themes, including:

  • Chris Brierly and Tim German (Energy Systems Catapult), Local Area Energy Planning
  • Josh Dunn (EY), Net Zero maturity self-assessment tool
  • Isabel Oliver (UK Health Security Agency), Health effects of climate change
  • Sophie Kempthorne (UKRI/Innovate UK), Place-based finance for net zero
  • Nick Porter (LGA), survey of local authorities’ climate actions
  • Penny Clark (UCL), Net Zero What Works Centre.

The Board is now reflecting on progress to date, reviewing where ADEPT’s policy positions on climate change need updating, and considering where best to focus its attention for the coming year. It will be a challenging time as financial pressure and political uncertainty make it increasingly difficult to local authorities to meet their ambitious local climate targets. 

Collaboration and partnership working: the Blueprint Coalition 

In terms of partnership working, we continue to work actively as part of the Blueprint Coalition. Peter Moore (Head of Climate Strategy at Reading BC, and a member of our CC Board) has recently become co-Chair of the Coalition and published this article for the journal Chamber UK. 

The Coalition is currently focused on manifesto influencing, writing to and seeking meetings with senior politicians and advisers in the main political parties to try to influence policy and secure their support for our manifesto asks in advance of the general election. We recently had useful meetings with Kerry McCarthy MP (Shadow Climate Minister), and Cllr Vikki Slade of the LGA Liberal Democrat group.

The Blueprint Coalition is also hosting as series of webinars, starting with How can devolution deliver on environmental ambition? on 5th June, 10.00-11.00 on Zoom. 

Devolution in England is gathering pace, with several new deals recently announced. Although there is an increasingly complex picture of deals across England, it’s clear that this level of governance is increasingly important in tackling the climate and nature crises. 

As we look ahead to the next general election, this event will be an opportunity to discuss the progress that metro mayors have made on climate and nature and the opportunities that new deals will bring. It will also highlight the national resourcing and regulatory and policy change that could help accelerate local climate action at this level. It also raises the question of how to ensure that local authorities outside of areas with devolution deals are not left behind. 

Speakers include Peter Moore, Cllr Tom Ross (Greater Manchester Combined Authority Green City Lead), Cllr Marisa Heath (Cabinet Member for Environment, Surrey County Council), Dr Matthew Lane (University of Edinburgh) and Victoria Marsom (Head of England team, Friends of the Earth).

The next webinar is being pencilled in for September and will focus on retrofit.

Collaboration and partnership working: LGA Initiative

The other main area of partnership working at present is via the LGA’s What next for local climate action? Initiative. This brings together a wide range of umbrella groups from within the local government sector – LGA, ADEPT, Local Partnerships, Solace, UK100, London Councils, Core Cities, County Councils Network, District Councils Network, APSE, 3Ci, and Planning Advisory Service. 

The group has come together following the publication of the results of the LGA’s latest survey of local climate plans and which has a lot of valuable information about some of the barriers that local authorities are facing in delivering those plans. One headline finding was that 67% of councils were very or fairly unconfident their local authority will achieve its net zero targets within the timescales set out in its strategy.

The What’s next? group is looking for opportunities to collaborate to amplify the message about the importance of local climate action, to help make the case for a renewed local/central relationship under the next government, and to work together to tackle some of those barriers. 

As part of this work we will be exploring the question of whether there should be a statutory duty on local authorities in respect of climate mitigation and adaptation (as recommended by the Skidmore review last year), and if so how general or specific this should be, and whether it should apply to other public bodies too.

Looking ahead

ADEPT’s position on this as set out two years ago in the policy document Climate Change & Green Growth is: “We would support new duties on councils to provide leadership in climate mitigation and adaptation locally, and to report on their progress in tackling climate change across all of their services and responsibilities, providing that councils are given the powers and funding that they need to do this.” 

As we look to refresh this policy position no doubt we will be having a lively conversation with ADEPT members – watch this space!

We are always keen to welcome new members to the Board, so please get in touch if you feel that you can contribute.

Further information


More posts

  • Climate change blog – a progress update on adaptation

    This month’s Climate Change blog comes from ADEPT Policy Officer David Dale, who gives a progress update on adaptation, focusing on government and local authority engagement, departmental initiatives and events.

    As we are acutely aware, the impacts of climate change are already being felt here in the UK and around the world - this will only intensify over the coming decades. While mitigation efforts and achieving net zero emissions receive significant attention and investment, adaptation measures are often overlooked.

    Read more >

  • Climate change blog - a new approach to liveable neighbourhoods with AtkinsRéalis

    In one of ADEPT's monthly lunch and learn sessions, a team from AtkinsRéalis discussed the concept of 'liveable neighbourhoods'. ADEPT CEO, Hannah Bartram, provides an overview.

    We have all seen how polarised much of the debate around place has become. Restricting traffic has been part of highways management since the 1970s, drawing little attention. However, particularly since the pandemic, all that has changed. Strong voices dominate online debate.

    Read more >

  • Climate change blog - delivering local nature recovery

    Delivering Local Nature Recovery: A coordinated, practical approach to tackling the biodiversity and climate crisis

    In this blog, Penny Borton provides an overview of the recent workshop delivered by Jacobs at the Autumn Conference.

    Having reflected on the ‘delivering local nature recovery’ workshop at the ADEPT Autumn Conference last month, I’ve tried to capture the energy and passion in the room, while providing a realistic account of perceived challenges and what we need to do next.

    Read more >

  • Climate change blog - greening our urban spaces

    In this month’s guest blog, Clare Warburton from Natural England and the National Trust’s Ellie Robinson talk about the urban greening workshop at the recent ADEPT Autumn Conference.

    It was great to hear the discussion at ADEPT’s Conference in Nottingham last month, particularly the reflections from the pandemic and the vital synergies between tackling health and economic inequalities and improving the quality and accessibility of urban environments.

    Read more >

  • Climate Change blog - Welcome Kylie!

    In this month’s blog, we’ve handed over to ADEPT’s new Deputy CEO. Many of you will be getting to know Kylie over the coming months, so this is an opportunity to find out more about her.

    Hello! When I was working through the application process for the ADEPT position, I was prepared for the role to be exciting, challenging and wide-ranging, but little did I think I would be asked to write about myself!

    Read more >

  • Climate Change blog - Natural capital and nature based solutions

    In this month’s blog, Hannah Bartram provides an overview of the recent Lunch and Learn webinar from Jacobs.

    Natural capital obligations and nature based solutions are becoming a default approach across place. The session was a deep dive into the principles, tools and aids to decision-making that can support local authorities and their partners when it comes to implementation.

    Read more >

Media enquiries: please contact Coast Communications 01579 352600 | VAT number: 337 0556 05 | Website by Cosmic