‘ We can inspire people to simple, cheap actions, to community level insulation. I call this ‘Rebuilding societies’; to retrofit vast numbers of homes.’ – Community Climate Coach: Andy Goldring, City Hub Lead
Project: Climate Action Leeds
Project website: https://www.climateactionleeds.org.uk/
Location: Leeds, Yorkshire, UK
Funding: A 5 year project funded by the National Lottery Climate Action programme, £2.5m.
Local context: Leeds is a post-industrial city with 800,000 inhabitants. Key employers are in finance, law, manufacturing and tourism.
Goals: A zero carbon, nature friendly, socially just Leeds by the 2030s.
Process: CAL is working intensively with 8 communities across Leeds, providing each one with a community development worker. Each community is developing a local climate action plan, which includes things they can do themselves (like setting up a community garden) and things that they need bigger help with (such as public transport). These plans are community led and contain clear, deliverable actions which will be rolled out over the next few years. The initial 8 groups will then become peer-to-peer supporters for the next generation of communities.
Insights: The first phase of work was not about climate change, it was about recognising local needs and identifying local leadership. The focus is on what we can really do; where is our agency, and how does this help us in our everyday lives? For example, promoting home energy efficiency has never been easier, because energy costs have rocketed.