Climate advocacy toolkit

London Councils climate change advocacy support for local authorities.

To support boroughs in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), 1 to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow, London Councils wants to amplify boroughs’ work, our common messages around net zero, and demonstrate the breadth and depth of boroughs’ overall net zero offer.

Borough officers may find the information below useful for informing their own engagement and advocacy activities, and we encourage them to work closely with us to develop opportunities and share events. Contact the transport and environment team for policy and strategy enquiries, or the promotions team for communications and campaign information.

Contents

  1. Climate change narrative for London
  2. Branding
  3. Events calendar
  4. Examples of net zero activity in London boroughs
  5. London Councils climate programmes and projects
  6. Climate change reports

1. Climate change narrative for London

We are encouraging London's boroughs to use our narrative and key messages in communications and events in the run up to COP26 to show our shared vision and amplify our messages. 

Our narrative is that "We have a shared vision for a more connected city that is greener and lower carbon, more equal, healthy and resilient, and where all London’s residents, business and diverse communities can thrive. To deliver this vision, in 2021 we will:

  • work with Londoners to put their hopes, concerns and activities at the heart of London’s climate action
  • support our burgeoning green economy to help us build back better from Covid-19, creating markets for local businesses, good jobs for Londoners and innovation
  • make the case that London should be a leading engine for the green recovery that supports and works alongside other cities, regions and international partners, putting a just transition at the centre of how we do this
  • work in partnership with our diverse communities including young people, our businesses and the government" 

In addition to this narrative we have a series of key messages for climate advocacy in 2021 that focus on four areas, namely: the role of local government; green investment; retrofitting homes and transport (infrastructure). 

2. Branding

#BeTheSolution

The #BeTheSolution climate-focused brand has been developed with the help of the London borough communications teams to bring consistency and familiarity to both borough and London Councils' climate change-focused communications work. Boroughs are encouraged to use one or more elements of the brand to help unify the work of London local government on climate change. 

The branding consists of the following elements:

  • The tagline 'Be The Solution' and '#BeTheSolution' 
  • The use of the distinctive Cocon font
  • A colour palette 
  • Illustrative figures

All the #BeTheSolution assets are in this Google Drive, from basic Powerpoint templates to the Adobe Illustrator artwork files that your design/digital team can use are .

Some boroughs already have their own climate change branding so each of the brand elements have been designed so they can be used separately (probably the easiest to apply is the ‘Be The Solution’ tagline/hashtag) or, all together like RB Kingston's campaign to encourage people out of their cars.

Campaign image from RB Kingston's active travel campaign
RB Kingston's use of the brand in their campaign to encourage people out of their cars

3. Events leading up to COP26

In the lead up to COP26 there are many events and opportunities of relevance to boroughs. We have listed many of them below, providing the headline messages and ideas about how you could make the most of them by, for example, planning your own events with reference to them.

Please let us know what you have planned, so that we can help to amplify your events by sharing them here too.

Events calendar 

There are a number of opportunities for boroughs to profile their work on net zero with a wider audience; those we are aware of include:

4. Examples of net zero activity in London boroughs

We are aware that bringing to life the importance of action on net zero can be challenging when messaging is focused on policy asks and regional or national level conversations. We have therefore pulled together examples of borough activity that illustrates each of our key messages in Examples of Net Zero.

5. London Councils' climate programmes and projects

London Councils' seven climate change programmes are the heart of what we are doing to support boroughs on climate action with each of the programmes having a lead borough who drives the collaboration.

There are a number of projects stemming from these programmes which boroughs can reference to demonstrate their collaborative work on climate change and net zero for example:

  • Review of borough climate action plansLondon Councils published a Review of Borough Climate Action Plans, which found that all boroughs will be producing a Climate Action Plan (CAP); 24 had been published at the point of publication in May 2021, with more now published.
  • Borough consumption emissions profiles. London Councils and ReLondon published the first ever borough-level consumption-based household emissions profiles, covering the period 2001 to 2018. This research shows a strong downward trend over the last ten years, but we must maintain momentum as we engage the public on the journey to net zero, which will require more and further reaching changes to our lives and lifestyles.

6. Climate change reports

In developing their messaging, boroughs may wish to refer to a number of major external reports on climate change that have been published this year, which we have listed here for ease of reference, together with the London Councils' response where available:

Local authorities and the Sixth Carbon Budget, Climate Change Committee, 9 December 2021.

2021 Progress Report to Parliament, Climate Change Committee, 24 June 2021.

Green Jobs Taskforce report, 14 July 2021.

Local government and net zero in England, National Audit Office (NAO), 16 July 2021. London Councils response to NAO net zero report, 16 July 2021.

AR6 Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, August 2021. London Councils response to IPCC report, 10 August 2021.

Events calendar

Opportunities

  • Amplify: share our key messages from the spending review in your own responses, and related communications activity

Read more about the spending review

 

Key messages

  • Transport infrastructure: boroughs are promoting walking, cycling and many other clean air initiatives in their areas.

Opportunities

  • Amplify: messages that demonstrate how your borough is contributing to these London-wide goals

Key messages

  • Role of local government: local government has spearheaded this important research that will focus our efforts to build London’s green economy, including through the Green New Deal and London Councils’ Green Economy programme
  • Green investment: this research identifies where investment is needed in sectors and skills to grow London’s green economy, and will support our forthcoming Cities Climate Investment Commission prospectus

Opportunities

  • Amplify: the leadership role of boroughs in bringing forward this work via the sub-regional partnerships; the sectors of the green economy with most potential in your area; equalities impacts that we need to manage and mitigate in developing the green economy.

Key messages

  • Role of local government: celebration of boroughs’ leadership of our collaborative seven programmes, and individual work through their Climate Action Plans

Opportunities

  • Contribute: lead boroughs will be invited to speak, and there will be an opportunity for boroughs to run their own sessions to share learning and best practice
  • Participate: in the conference online
  • Amplify: messages around the climate programmes, your boroughs’ participation and learning from boroughs and other partners

Read about the conference and how to register

 

Key messages

  • Relevant to all core messages 
  • Key questions will be the same as 2020, with the addition of a question around Covid-related impact on Londoners ability to take climate action

Opportunities

  • Amplify: share the findings of our climate change polling, including messages most relevant for your local area

Find the polling report and press release here

Key messages

  • Green investment: the launch of the technical second report of the Commission, which will lay out more details of the opportunities and financing mechanisms to deliver private investment across each of the Commission’s six key sectors.

Opportunities:

  • Participate: in this online event
  • Amplify: messages that demonstrate how London, and your boroughs, are developing proposals to secure investment in net zero

Watch the launch here

Key messages:

  • London Councils supports the ULEZ expansion and the carbon emission reductions and air quality improvements it will bring.

Opportunities:

  • Amplify: Support the messages in the run up and on day of opening to ensure all drivers within the zone area aware of the new rules and reasons for them.

Key messages

  • Retrofitting home: launch of this leading collaborative programme between boroughs and other partners, demonstrates the scale of our ambition and how we are developing tangible solutions to get housing stock to net zero, building on excellent work already being done across London

Opportunities

  • Participate: attend the launch (online)
  • Amplify: share the key messages from the launch and your own boroughs’ work on retrofitting

Read more about the launch and register here

Key messages

  • Role of local government: highlighting the boroughs’ role, and our role collaborating with partners locally, regionally and nationally
  • Overall message around the net zero offer London has to make

Opportunities

  • Participate: attend the Summit
  • Amplify: share our key messages during the Summit

Read more about the Summit and register here

Key messages

  • Green investment: scale of financing needed to reach net zero, the benefits that investing in place will bring to net zero delivery, and high levels of interest from investors
  • Role of local government: highlighting the leadership role of local government in this pioneering work on private financing, and how we are collaborating with partners

Opportunities

  • Contribute: case studies for London Councils events, and investment needs through the CCIC project
  • Participate: in virtual sessions held during the conference
  • Amplify: share our key messages during the COP

Register for 3rd November event here

Register for 11th November event here

Key messages

  • Role of local government: how boroughs can work with and support sectors to become greener and reduce carbon emissions

Opportunities

  • Amplify: share the findings of the Business 1000 related to climate change and businesses in your sub-region

Read more about Business 1000 

Register for the launch here

Key messages

  • All messages: the LGA are hosting an exhibition stand at COP on this day, promoting good practice to showcase the work of councils addressing climate change: you can participate by sharing a photograph of innovative climate activity in your local areas and communities.
  • Retrofitting homes: lots of events will be held on this day, with many opportunities to link to boroughs’ own work in this space.

Opportunities

  • Amplify: key messages from other events, and your own key messages related to this.

Details TBC

Opportunities

  • Amplify: events taking place 16 to 18 November in London; encourage local businesses to take part and sign up to their Net Zero Commitment

Find out more here