Town and Parish councils

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


Many town and parish councils in Cornwall have declared a climate emergency. Many others consulting their communities about what actions and projects to undertake. Helston have been particularly proactive in forming their Helston Climate Action Plan

Climate Change Charity, Ashden have developed a toolkit which you may find of use. The toolkit demonstrates how action on climate change can deliver local benefits, including:

  • Improved health
  • Increased equality and social cohesion
  • Economic opportunities
  • Increased resilience

The Grantham Institute produced this video which explores co-benefits of taking Climate Action.

Ashden have written 31 Climate Actions for Councils in partnership with Friends of the Earth.

Town and Parish Council's will know their local community's needs and challenges best, but here are general areas to consider, once you have declared a climate emergency.

Come together

Come together and share learning. Discuss your struggles helping communities become carbon neutral.

We welcome the formation of local climate action groups. If you want to look outside Cornwall, Climate Emergency UK have an UK Climate Emergency Network.

Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive

We embarked on a series of six Localism Climate Change Workshops early in February 2020. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic meant we had to postpone further workshops.

We are working to support you and your communities and local groups. We have developed a new climate change online engagement web platform.

The Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive is an online space to share information and ideas.

We understand not everyone knows where to start or how to reduce their carbon footprint.

We know that some people need support and encouragement. We also know there are people in Cornwall who can help other people.

We hope the Hive will become a place where we can get together to learn from each other and 'bee' inspired.

There's plenty to do on the Hive:

  • Find out how you can help Cornwall become carbon neutral
  • Learn what other people are doing
  • Be inspired by articles from guest bloggers
  • Join in with discussions about low carbon living
  • Share ideas so we can tackle climate change together.

Please visit the Hive and join in with our collaborative 'hive mind' thinking: https://letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/carbon-neutral-cornwall

Please feel free to link to the Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive from your own website. Promote it in your newsletters and messages to people who live in your local area. Email us climatechange@cornwall.gov.uk if you would like us to send you information and graphics to help you promote the Hive. 

Find out your carbon footprint

Information about Cornwall's carbon footprint can be found on our Carbon Neutral Challenge pages. Some communities have commissioned their own report. This enables them to know their baseline and also highlight areas where they can make the biggest impact in reducing emissions.

You can also use one of the free tools available. For example the Carbon Trust tool or the IMPACT Community carbon calculator

It's a good idea to pool ideas on reducing your council's and your community's carbon footprint. These ideas can include:

  • Switching your energy supplier to a 100% renewable supplier
  • Changing your light bulbs to LEDs in community buildings
  • Using recycled paper (reducing paper usage where possible) 
  • Ensuring you recycle everything you can.

More tips can be found on our Resident - what can I do? page.

Create a plan with defined targets

Draw up a carbon reduction action plan and agree annual percentage reductions up to 2030.

It will become more difficult to find new ways to make reductions as you progress.

Lead by example

Commit to using less paper at council meetings and to supplying locally sourced food and drink.

Discourage the use of single-use plastics (i.e. bottled water) and single use cups, plates or cutlery. Encourage members to bring their own reusable cups. 

Look at investments and supplier contracts. Divert funds from fossil fuels and companies using unsustainable practices. Where possible, buy local.

If it's possible, install better insulation, solar panels and other renewable energy options in community buildings.

Spread the word

One of the most important roles Town and Parish council's can play is in helping their communities learn about the climate emergency.

You could consider holding energy saving pop-up advice surgeries or information evenings. You could also allow your community buildings to be used to bring people together, for the benefit of the community.

Downloadable presentation

You can download and use our Carbon Neutral Cornwall Localism presentation to use at your own events and meetings. You can download the presentation as a PowerpoInt or PDF using the links below, both versions have speakers' notes provided.

Champion innovation and inclusiveness

There are many ways you can champion innovation and inclusiveness.

  • Encourage community projects that reduce carbon emissions.
  • Encourage the adoption of clean energy and the use of electric vehicles.
  • Champion schemes that help people out of fuel poverty (such as community renewable energy schemes) and Warm and Well
  • Enable mobility (like the Sustainable Transport in Cornwall project, from Age UK) and easier access to green spaces (like Making Space for Nature). 
  • Commission or raise funds for thermal imaging scans of properties to look at energy loss and bad insulation.
  • Research and promote grant schemes for residents and organisations
  • Look at bulk purchasing schemes for solar panels

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