New carbon footprinting tool for parish councils

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The Government’s continuing lack of urgency dealing with the climate emergency places even greater importance on local action and community energy initiatives. However, the lack of data about CO2 emissions at a local level has held back awareness of what our communities need to do to meet their obligations.

A new carbon footprinting tool in development now by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) will make it much easier for local councils to assess the scale of the task in their areas of responsibility and set meaningful reduction targets. Over the next six months, and in partnership with Midlands Energy Hub, CSE will develop a tool that will enable parish councils and local communities to estimate baseline carbon emissions for their area. This will be calculated using information about energy use, travel behaviours and the consumption of goods and services modelled at household level and scaled up to better reflect individual communities.

The tool will enable the development of meaningful and locally appropriate carbon reduction strategies by parish councils that allow them to support their district and county councils with well-targeted activity that focuses on big-emissions sectors rather than spending time on well-meaning but low-impact activities. It will allow users to test out a number of scenarios designed to demonstrate the potential impact of different projects on their overall carbon footprint.

CSE is seeking out parish councillors or clerks wanting to get involved with developing and testing the tool. You don’t need any specific skills or experience as CSE is keen to create something that is easy to use for everyone. If you would like to be involved, please contact

CSE’s Annette Lamley said, “To tackle the climate emergency, we need the involvement of all levels of government, from the commanding heights of Westminster down to parish councils. The latter have a critical role to play being uniquely placed to inspire grassroots movements, set a leadership example and deliver practical local action.”