Town and parish councils are in a unique situation to engage people in your community at a grassroots level. Getting people to talk about the climate and ecological emergency whilst preparing a plan for your local area encourages others to think about it and hopefully spread the message further. To successfully address the climate emergency, it will require involvement from all individuals, not just those who are already pro-active. To reach out beyond those in your community who are already pro-active, you can use other areas of common interest to bring people together. These could be; traffic problems, adverse weather conditions such as flooding, impact of new developments or cycling and walking paths. Whatever it is you can use it as a starting point to discuss the wider challenges of Climate and Ecological changes; these will affect all of us in one way or another.
CALCULATE YOUR COMMUNITY’S CARBON FOOTPRINT
Using this handy tool you can find out the emissions produced by your community. You can compare emissions to other parishes and to the district and national averages. Emissions are shown as ‘territorial’ emissions (those directly produced from your parish by road transport, agriculture, domestic activities, for example) and consumption emissions (those arising overseas from your community’s purchasing of goods and services from elsewhere). Simply follow the link below, enter your parish name and the tool will display the carbon footprint for your community.
PREPARE AN ACTION PLAN
Take a look below at the two toolkits that have been prepared by community organisations in Devon especially for local councils to understand the types of action they can take locally to work with their communities on climate change issues.
You should also view the Resources for Community Groups as many of these are relevant to a local council looking to lead local activity.
Town and parish councillors can network through the Devon Towns and Parishes for Climate Action Facebook group to get further ideas.