Climate Emergency: Shaping a Meaningful Local Response

The vast majority of local councils across the UK have made climate emergency declarations, and have been making progress towards carbon neutrality over the next ten, twenty or thirty years. But when compared to the unprecedented response to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clear that climate change is not considered an emergency in the same way.

What should a climate emergency response really look like? How can councils, organisations, and communities find common ground in their priorities and perspectives? How do we balance pragmatism, imagination, and hope?

This workshop will look at what’s working and what’s not, and use the concept of collective resilience to find common ground on which we can work together. Join us and share your perspective to help reframe our way forward in a time of incredible uncertainty.


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  • An exploration of what happens, or what should happen, after a council declares a climate emergency?
  • Discussions around the actual and perceived barriers to collective action
  • Understanding the climate emergency as a complex system, for which our current responses are struggling to create long term and sustainable change

  • Examples of actions which are working, and an understanding of how these can be replicated
  • Practical tools to explore and improve the prioritisation of resilience in the wider systems which influence local responses to the climate emergency
  • A frame of collective resilience to develop new and existing cross-sector relationships in a different way
  • Local authority staff or members who are working with the challenges posed by acting on and communicating the implications of the climate emergency
  • Community group or local organisation members who want to work with their local authority to take action on the climate emergency
  • Businesses and individuals looking to improve their resilience in the face of huge uncertainty

Peter Lefort is the Sector and Partnerships Lead for Cornwall Council’s Carbon Neutral Cornwall programme, working towards carbon neutrality across Cornwall by 2030. He has worked in climate change for ten years, as a campaigner, facilitator, and network manager, and specialises in the resilience of individuals, organisations, and systems.

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