23 community actions

23 community actions

Nothing big happens by thinking small.

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Inspired by the findings from Climate Assembly UK in 2020 at the start of this ‘decade of action’, we gathered these awesome community actions into similar categories, adapting the groupings slightly to reflect our focus on collective rather than individual action. Each initiative is an exemplar of big-thinking local action and together they hit all the big themes identified by this citizens’ assembly.
This is not a prescriptive list of 23 actions that every community should attempt. Responses to the climate crisis are highly localised because every place is different. This is something that is reflected in your local Climate Action Plan.

We have picked examples from specific locations to bring them to life, although community actions of each type are taking place in multiple locations. This is encouraging evidence that you too could copy or adapt them where you are.

You may recognise several of these initiatives or they may all be new to you. Either way, you have a choice. Join one or get some people together and start one. At least one of these initiatives is a big idea where you live.

Look through the 23. See how they fit within your local Climate Action Plan. Then run with at least one of these actions!
Edinburgh Tool Library Edinburgh Tool Library

Running Out Of Time

Time is fast running out to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, a threshold beyond which lies a profoundly disrupted climate and its devastating impact on human, animal and plant life.
Last year, we organised ‘Running Out of Time’ – the world’s longest, non-stop relay – with Carbon Copy as a principal partner, to bring people together with one voice, urging more support from the leaders at COP27 to help people tackle the climate crisis where they live.

You’ve probably heard the well-known African proverb, ‘If you want to run fast, run alone. If you want to run far, run together.’ We’re running out of time because we still have far to go and we need more people to join in and take action to address this climate emergency, wherever they live.

The good news is that most of the solutions already exist, and many have been shared on Carbon Copy by different groups and organisations to encourage people to be part of the change they wish to see.

"23 Community Actions" is the optimistic response to Running Out of Time and, just like the relay itself, is intended to reach a wider audience who have interests and concerns beyond environmentalism. Everyone who participated in the climate relay in 2022 – in whatever way – did something extraordinary. This year, we’re passing the baton onto you.

James Hay
Co-founder, The World Relay
Running Out Of Time Running Out Of Time

What can we do?

People who are worried about the impact of climate change – which is three-quarters of the population in the UK – are asking, “what can I do?” and too often receive answers that are clichéd and consumerist. Instead, we want better answers to the question, “what can we do?” We are here, we are many, and we are important to this moment.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them, and so we have identified 23 awesome community actions that tear up the notion of leaving it up to national government to think big.

Together, we want to imagine and create something large enough and local enough that everyone wants to join in. It’s a high care, low carbon vision that’s about community renewal as much as it’s about carbon consequences.

In measurable ways, implementing these 23 initiatives can boost the local economy, create jobs locally, improve people’s health and wellbeing – in addition to tackling the climate and biodiversity crises. They have been selected because each one is a potential game changer when copied hundreds of times.

Ric Casale
Co-founder, Carbon Copy
Perth & Kinross Council Perth & Kinross Council

What Is Community Action?

Community is defined simply as people who live in a particular area or who have a particular interest. When communities are mobilised – meaning when they come together to set goals and take actions – they can form groups and initiatives that make them a real force for change.
Community actions refer to community-powered initiatives, typically in collaboration with other organisations, that address the climate and biodiversity crises at a local level. Community involvement ranges from project ownership to leadership to partnership – with the emphasis on collective action to make a bigger difference.

From the wide range of community-led action on the environment that has been shared on Carbon Copy, four bold observations are clear to see:

1. Community action doesn’t need to focus on carbon reduction to have a positive climate impact.

2. Community action demonstrates how it is possible to improve the quality of life in many different places, by addressing economic and climate goals together, locally.

3. Community action is inter-generational; everyone alive today contributes to climate change and so we all hold some responsibility, and some power.

4. Community action is compelling to many people because it strengthens communities’ own abilities to shape the things around them that matter most.
Black & Green Ambassadors Black & Green Ambassadors