Centre for Public Scrutiny – 10 questions to scrutinise climate action

This publication covers 10 questions, and several supplementary follow ups, to ask if you are scrutinising climate action in your council.

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It lays out key issues on which local scrutineers (councillors sitting on scrutiny committees and the officers who support them) can pose questions to those with decision-making responsibility.

The publication is now available to download.

The 10 questions

How well does the council understand the need to take action locally?  

How does the council’s leadership champion and direct action on climate change?  

How is the council adopting a clear and detailed strategic plan, and how is it mainstreaming climate change mitigation and adaptation?  

Has the council reviewed its investment strategy, supply chains and procurement models to give due consideration to climate change impacts?  

How is the council integrating sustainability and resilience into its transport and energy plans?

How is the council planning to understand and act on the need to adapt existing properties and estates to address the impacts of climate change – and to plan for new housing stock which is resilient to these impacts?

How is the council promoting climate education, diversifying the labour market and focusing on sectors that are sustainable?  

What measures are being taken to ensure that health and social care systems will be resilient with the extra pressures they will come under due to climate change?  

How does the council identify those who are most at risk from the impacts of climate change, and what is being done to assist the most vulnerable?  

How is the council supporting and working with all relevant private and civic actors in the area towards climate change mitigation and adaptation?

Webinar: Scrutinising climate action

Friday 18 September 2020

  • Part 1: The role of scrutiny in climate change programmes – scoping and designing effective reviews: 10.00am - 11.30am
  • Part 2: Scrutinising climate action: who, when and how: 2.00pm - 3.20pm

Climate change is a critical global problem that will impact environments everywhere and individuals across all levels of society. The challenge has been thrown into sharper relief by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating the need for places and communities to become more resilient. Within the local government sector, councils have been leading the response to climate change, but with many having declared a ‘climate emergency’ there is a need to show how they will prioritise and embed climate action in all policy areas. Scrutiny has a critical role to play in these cross-cutting issues, testing the assumptions in the development of climate action plans and securing political buy-in for sustained action. Scrutiny can also support the council to engage with partners and channel local views, as well as playing a formal accountability role as councils make public commitments to climate action.

Drawing on our recent publication 10 questions to ask if you are scrutinising climate change, this event will outline a practical approach for scrutineers to understand and seek oversight on climate action in their localities. It is designed to explore questioning, identify key stakeholders, plan effective scrutiny work and consider the impacts that scrutiny can expect to deliver on this issue, We encourage you to attend both the morning and afternoon sessions.