Toolkit: SCATTER


Working out which collective actions by cities and city-regions will have the greatest impact in reducing carbon emissions is complex. This is where the SCATTER tool (Setting City Area Targets and Trajectories for Emissions Reduction) has proven to be very useful by simplifying the measurement of emissions and helping councils across the UK to model scenarios, set reduction targets and take action.

SCATTER is intended for use by local authorities to standardise their greenhouse gas reporting and align to international frameworks, including setting their targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. It was developed to give local authorities a sense of what a carbon reduction target could mean in terms of the local interventions that would be needed to get to net-zero.

The starting point in SCATTER is a business-as-usual carbon emissions trajectory from now to 2050, based on current activities in the local authority area. By choosing different levels of ambition across several emissions-reduction measures, SCATTER calculates any number of credible, decarbonisation pathways to get to a local net-zero target. In the words of Jonathan Ward, Principal Energy Policy Officer at Nottingham City Council,

“As one of the many local authorities that has an ambitious target – ours is 2028 – we are certainly mindful of the challenges… The target tends to be the easy part. Understanding how you are going to get there is quite a challenge.”

To hear more from Jonathan, please listen to his podcast about SCATTER

It’s not a forecasting tool, and certainly not a substitute for a detailed local climate action plan. However, it does enable local authorities to explore in a low-cost, low-resource way the scale, breadth and depth of what needs to happen. Recognising that some areas have more capacity to move forward than others, SCATTER provides those local areas that do not have a net-zero carbon emissions date – or those that cannot see a way to get there before 2050 – with numerous, calculated decarbonisation pathways to support more urgent climate action.

The easy-to-use, easy-to-access tool has been funded by BEIS and is free to use for all local authorities in the UK. Please register to access the tool if you have not already done so.

We don’t have another thirty years to get to net-zero. Tools like SCATTER help local authorities envision credible decarbonisation pathways towards reaching a carbon zero future much sooner.

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