Inspiring & organising action to respond to the climate and ecological emergency
Since starting in 2019 Climate Emergency UK has evolved into a credible organisation, working at pace and punching above its weight within the council climate sector. We want to play our part in contributing to a significant reduction in area-wide emissions that councils have power and influence over, and for this to happen across the UK at the scale and pace needed.
This page covers our mission and strategic aims as well as our staff, funders and Board members.
We inspire and support those pushing for local climate action across the climate movement and within councils to reach net zero at the pace and scale needed. We facilitate peer-learning across the climate movement and within councils and provide knowledge and skills to those campaigning, working or lobbying for local climate action. We educate campaigners, councillors, council staff and other stakeholders on how councils work and how to advocate for and accelerate council climate action, providing knowledge, data tools, and skills to those campaigning, working or lobbying for local climate action.
Vibrant local democracies deliver climate action.
This means that vibrant local democracies, inclusive of councils, campaigners and communities, successfully deliver place-based climate action to reduce emissions at the scale and pace needed with the funding and powers required, leading to an improved quality of life, especially for those most affected by climate impacts, and more resilient and equitable communities.
Our Theory of Change
Despite 83% of councils declaring a climate emergency, as a result of community campaigning, councils are confusing and the continued wave of local climate campaigning slowed. Furthermore, the UK government has not provided the guidance, funding and powers needed for local authorities to decarbonize the most effectively, as referenced in the Skidmore review.
While councils possess significant influence over a third of UK emissions in their areas, it is hard for all to know exactly what councils can do with their limited funding and resources. We are committed to inspiring and supporting local climate action through innovative tools, transparent data (such as the Scorecards), and training. We aim to empower those advocating for change both within and outside councils, fostering collaboration with community campaigners. By holding councils accountable for their climate actions and collaborating at a national level, we seek to encourage and influence local climate action at the scale and pace needed. We want all UK councils, working with their communities, to do everything within their power for climate action in order to meet net zero as soon as possible.
We are Honest: We speak truthfully about what needs to happen, and how we fit into the space in which we work. We are clear, transparent and open about who we are, how we work, how we are funded and with each other as colleagues.
We are Courageous: We believe in ourselves, our mission and each other. We are innovative, we try new ideas and challenge ourselves and the local climate sector to go further and faster to reduce emissions and create the communities we need to thrive.
We are Collaborative: No one can overcome the climate emergency alone – we work with councils, campaigners and the wider sector to support the transition to net zero, by drawing on a wide range of knowledge and experience.
We are Power Aware: We want to be sensitive to the balance of power within our own organisation and our relationships with partners, funders and supporters, and aim to identify and dismantle harmful power structures in order to foster a positive and inclusive working culture.
Our Strategic Goals
We have 3 organisational goals reflecting the different levels we work at as part of our 2023-2026 strategy. Through our work, we hope to contribute to significant emissions reductions across the UK, and for councils to increase the quality and quantity of their climate action – which will be measured via the Climate Action Scorecards. Simultaneously, we want to influence national government to provide further guidance, funding and powers to councils so that they can go even further and faster in their delivery of climate action.
- Local: We inspire and enable council climate campaigning across the UK with both local climate groups and councils. We will continue to create and publish the action Scorecards and provide training and other support to community groups and councils to understand how they can achieve climate action as residents, councillors and council staff.
- National: We establish how we will build partnerships and campaign to win further powers and funding from national government for local climate action. Campaigning includes all elements, including the research, planning and mapping out where CE UK can have the best impact within the sector. Working with others, we want to educate and encourage national policy makers and organisations to use our nationwide local knowledge when making decisions around powers, funding and guidance for local government climate
- Internal: We are a sustainable, established, reputable and well respected organisation that reflects its values in our operations. This includes how we work as an organisation, how we raise funds as well as developing a year-round media strategy and building partnerships with others in the sector to be more impactful at a local and national level.
Climate Emergency UK is primarily funded through grant funding from Quadrature Climate Foundation, via mySociety, and other key funders: Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation, Gower Street and Attainable among others. We are incredibly grateful to our funders for their support as we develop crucial tools to unlock council climate action. Thanks also to O’Mara Books who donate generously.
We are also funded by individual giving from our users. If you find our work useful, please consider becoming a Scorecard Sustainer today by setting up a monthly donation on Paypal.
Who we are – our Staff Team
Annie Pickering: I have spent over 5 years working with volunteers on local climate and workers rights campaigns, with lots of experience of UK local councils and their weird and wonderfulness. I’m a trustee of People & Planet and Alumni of the UK Youth Climate Coalition. Having previously worked at People & Planet on their University League, I was keen to take inspiration from this project and create a way to hold councils to account on their climate action.
Isaac Beevor: I started working and campaigning in local climate policy in Metro Vancouver, managing volunteers and working on campaigns to support Vancouver’s low-emission buildings policy and introducing an annual measuring and reporting system across Metro Vancouver. I have previously been a Trustee, worked in communications and marketing (particularly SEO), and coach table tennis.
Don von Rohland: Over the last 5 years, I have supported community climate action in Scotland, enabling community groups to access funding and deliver successful engagement projects. I also provided climate emergency training to third sector organisations and the Scottish civil service. I am a very keen cyclist and carbon foot-printing enthusiast! I am excited to support the environmental movement across the UK in my role as Campaigns & Outreach Director, where I will continue building community resilience in the face of the joint crisis of biodiversity loss and climate change.
Claire Stephenson: I led the main opposition group and chaired the scrutiny committee on Norwich City Council during two terms as an elected councillor between 2006 and 2014. More recently I returned to the council as a political assistant. Alongside these activities I have worked in secondary schools teaching English. I am based in Norwich and am interested in communication around climate change.
Our Board of Directors:
Kevin Frea M.Sc (Human Ecology): I became an environmental activist and vegetarian as an Environmental Studies teacher in the 1970’s, inspired by reading ‘Silent Spring’ by Rachel Carson. I became a Woodcraft Folk District Leader when my children were growing up. Following a lifelong interest in the Co-operative movement, I joined the Co-operative Party in 1979, founded Gloucestershire Community Energy Coop in 2011, project managed a solar installation at Lancaster Cohousing (where I live) for Morecambe Bay Community Renewables in 2013 and raised £1.2m in Community Shares for Halton Lune Hydro as a founding Director in 2014. Today most of my energy is directed towards work as Deputy Leader of Lancaster City Council and Chair of Climate Emergency UK.
Talia Berriman: Talia is a force in the local climate sector, currently working as the Network Programme Manager at UK100, supporting Councils to accelerate progress towards their ambitious Net Zero goals. Talia has been at UK100 since it was a similar size as CEUK and understands the challenges and opportunities of working in a small organisation.
Eloise Waldon-Day: Eloise comes with a wealth of experience in fundraising: she is currently the Senior Fundraising Manager for C40 Cities, managing relationships and partnerships to further climate action in cities globally following experience in women’s rights’ and global development organisations. Eloise joined CEUK’s Local Climate Policy Programme in 2021 and was a key volunteer for this year’s Scorecards work. Eloise also campaigns locally with XR Southwark and used the Scorecards to successfully argue for SMART goals to be included in Southwark Council’s climate action plan.
Godwin Matembe: I was born and raised in Uganda, moved to the UK in 2008. I’m married to Tynah, a FinTech entrepreneur and we have two amazingly wonderful children. I am an accountant and a banker, who will act as the Treasurer for Climate Emergency UK, and I love running outdoors, travelling the world and building relationships.
Our final two board positions are filled by Muntazir Jaffer and Robin McGhee.
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