UK Climate & Community Action Map
There is local action taking placed on climate change in every part of the UK. This map offers a way for anyone to find the activity in their area.
Local action on climate change takes many different forms, and includes local energy projects, campaigning groups and work on behaviour change. As well as organisations that are directly focused on climate there are many more that have other concerns as well but are still active.
The challenge arising from this is to get a real feel for just how much is actually happening. This is important information for civil society itself but also for councils, government, funders and other agencies.
The issues for a national map are partly those of scale. There are thousands of organisations and projects that could be on such a map. These come in many different categories, types and sizes and will change all the time as groups come and go. There is no one organisation that has a comprehensive list so any mapping will need to rely on local people’s knowledge and readiness to add their work to the map.
The UK Climate & Community Map started with three local projects, two of them ‘Climate Action Maps’, in Newcastle upon Tyne and north Dorset. These were funded by the Green Alliance think tank as part of their research into the scale and scope of local action. These were supplemented by a map of larger climate projects in London that then became absorbed into the UK map.
These pilots, developed with full local engagement, produced detailed local maps and also help identify the key issues for the national map. There were notable variations between the work in inner-city Newcastle and north Dorset, with the former having rather more socially-focused groups for whom climate and environment were linked to their main concerns.
12 key themes are included, and each type of activity has its’ own layer and icon, including obvious ones such as ‘Buildings and Renewable Energy’ and ‘Climate and Environmental Groups’ but also including events, advice and support projects, and information on food,health and well being and green economic activity.
The UK map was launched with about 200 points on it at the national ‘Climate and Community Action’ conference in January 2011. Many groups have added themselves to the map since then and over 500 are now displayed. It is promoted by the Low Carbon Communities Network.
What has changed?
This is a work in progress. The impact of a map on this scale is hard to assess since many of those using it are likely to do so simply to seek out local groups that they can contact directly.
But the map is partly there to help groups and projects across the UK see how they relate to similar organisations. The UK climate change action movement is very diverse and even fragmented. The Map is one way of showing how the various elements create a substantial movement.