Climate commissions report stresses importance of diverse networks

11th March 2020 - 15:05

Climate Commissions need to have representative and meaningful engagement with existing groups and organisations, be financially independent, have a clear governance structure and share a means of networked communication.

These are the recommendations of a report authored by a team from the University of Edinburgh, which has studied emergent climate commission platforms for driving place-based climate action.

Climate Commissions as a Stimulus for Place-Based Action: An Evidence Synthesis from Existing UK Case Studies, by Alice Creasy with Matthew Lane and Rosanna Harvey-Crawford, examines the evidence from a desk-based review of existing place-based climate governance strategies across the UK. The research, which took place between June and August 2019, was stimulated by the creation of three climate commissions in Leeds, Edinburgh and Belfast.

The climate commissions are part of an ESRC-funded project, the Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN). PCAN aims to build a replicable, local model of climate change governance that brings together decision-makers in the public, private and third sectors and the research community.

While these climate commissions represent a growing number of place-based urban climate governance projects in the UK, there is little empirical evidence on existing strategies from which to inform future modes of governance. With this in mind, the aim of this research was to identify and evaluate existing collaborative climate change strategies currently or previously undertaken within UK cities.

Lead author Alice Creasy said:

“This research highlighted to me the plethora of different place-based climate initiatives that exist in the UK and it has been very encouraging to see organisations from across a range of sectors acknowledging and responding to the climate emergency. The four key recommendations that the report makes reflect this diversity in climate change action and are applicable to organisations across a range of sizes and sectors. 

“Given the somewhat fractured nature of urban climate governance I think the first of these recommendations – to engage with a diversity of existing networks – is particularly salient. Climate change is an issue that requires collective action and in an increasingly polarised world this crisis offers an opportunity to build more inclusive and collaborative platforms for action.”

See our Publications page for information on the recommendations and download the report below.