17-18 September 2020 | Virtual event

2020 Virtual Programme



Opening remarks from the chair

Nick Golding, Editor, Local Government Chronicle


KEYNOTE: Local delivery of the sixth carbon budget

  • How does local authority action contribute to the sixth carbon budget and net zero target?
  • What are the biggest impact contributions for local authorities?
  • Decision making timelines for low regrets scenarios and identifying the most cost-effective opportunities
  • Making economic growth and sustainability mutually compatible
  • Recommendations for government policy and for LAs

Louise Marix Evans, Senior Advisor, Committee on Climate Change (CCC)


PANEL: Harnessing public engagement and securing partnerships

  • You’ve declared a ‘climate emergency’. What’s next?
  • Changing mindsets: from economic growth to sustainability
  • Demonstrating how economic growth is not incompatible with sustainability
  • Climate change targets: 5 quick wins
  • Identifying private sector partners and incentivising those relationships

Moderator: Paul Dennett, City Mayor, Salford City Council & Lead for Housing, Homelessness and Infrastructure, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Panellists: Cllr Nancy Platts, Leader, Brighton & Hove City Council
Gavin Ellis, Director, Hubbub
Cara Jenkinson, Senior Manager - Cities, Ashden
Cllr Sarah Warren, Joint Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency, Bath & North East Somerset Council
Jo Wall, Strategic Director – Climate Response, Local Partnerships


PANEL: Funding, legal and strategic policy

  • Where is the funding coming from? How can we access it?
  • How important will this be to the new Government especially in the short term?
  • Devising strategies to attract investment in your area
  • What are the critical legal issues local authorities need to be aware of?

Moderator: Kate Kennally, Chief Executive, Cornwall County Council
Panellists: Nigel Riglar, President, ADEPT & Director of Environment and Community Services, South Gloucestershire Council
Polly Billington, Director, UK100
Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive, Green Alliance
Jonathan Branton, Head of Public Sector, DWF



Innovative projects, technologies and strategies in pre-recorded quick fire 10-minute presentations:

  1. Developing a holistic energy strategy
    Wayne Bexton, Head of Energy Services, Nottingham City Council
  2. How can housing respond to the climate challenge?
    John Alker, Director of Policy & Places, UK Green Building Council
  3. Why (almost) all climate change action will improve public health and reduce NHS demand
    Prof Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health & Wellbeing, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council


Roundtable Discussions

Choose from one of the following three interactive roundtable discussion sessions:

  1. Tackling the waste economy – reduce, reuse, and recycle

    A wide ranging discussion to include:

    • Supporting reuse events and centres to enable goods and materials to be reused, repaired and exchanged
    • Identifying opportunities to convert food waste to biogas and developing actions to capture these
    • Investigating the potential development of performance-related incentives for businesses to divert commercial and industrial waste from landfill to alternative waste management processes such as reuse and recycling
    • Raising community awareness and education on waste minimisation through a coordinated publicity campaign
    • Working with the Waste & Resources Action Plan (WRAP) and supporting the Recycle Now and Love Food Hate Waste campaigns
    • Developing an action plan to reduce waste arisings and increasing reuse & recycling within the council’s buildings and operations
    • Working with existing and new contractors to reduce waste arisings and increase reuse & recycling from council procured goods and services through specifications and contract management

    Moderators: Jenny Grant, Head of Organics & Natural Capital, Renewable Energy Association & Maria Warner, National Executive, Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC)

  2. Engaging communities in sustainable travel

    With transport now the biggest source of emissions, experts increasingly acknowledge that electric cars are not a panacea, and that community-led change on active travel and public transport is key to achieving an inclusive transition to zero carbon, while benefitting health, wellbeing and mobility.

    This discussion will explore:

    • Barriers, problems and pitfalls of promoting a shift away from car-based travel
    • Opportunities to integrate sustainable and active travel modes
    • Ways to engage local people in making change and normalising sustainable travel

    Moderators: Cllr Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council & Jools Townsend, Chief Executive, Community Rail Network

  3. Tackling air quality

    Across the UK, poor air quality is thought to contribute to up to 36,000 deaths per year, and exposure to air pollution can lead to reduced life expectancy, and a range of poor health outcomes such as low birth weights and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and some cancers. What practical strategies can be taken to address these challenges?

    Moderators: Dominique Le Touze, Consultant in Public Health & Hayley Trower, Air Quality Lead, Portsmouth City Council


Leading a ‘climate-smart’ strategy

  • What does effective leadership look like and what roles for councils and independent commissions?
  • Developing a net zero roadmap and making it deliverable
  • Embedding a positive culture and communication strategy – securing buy-in
  • Metrics and governance – how do we measure success?
  • Integrating climate change into council decision-making processes

Prof. Andy Gouldson, Chair, Leeds Climate Commission


Closing remarks and end of day 1


Opening remarks from the chair

Nick Golding, Editor, Local Government Chronicle


Integrating behavioural science into your strategy

Climate change needs behaviour change – we must all change the way we travel, heat our homes, eat, and consume products and services. This requires individuals, but also markets and societies, to change. Research in the behavioural sciences from the last few decades provides some clues on how we can achieve this transformation, and there are many case studies of good practice to learn from. In this presentation Toby will provide examples of proven strategies that can be adopted within your own work to tackle climate change.
Toby Park, Head of Energy & Sustainability, Behavioural Insights Team


PANEL: Driving the agenda through your procurement strategy

  • Developing a sustainable procurement plan for all council purchasing that encourages low energy and more sustainable options
  • Promoting local purchasing where possible
  • Assessing the carbon footprint of the goods and services you procure, in order to understand the impacts of your existing procurement and commissioning
  • Producing a sustainable procurement code of practice for use across the organisation
  • Utilising whole-life costing when assessing all capital projects
  • Transitioning to 100% renewable energy for all your own buildings and operations

Moderator: tbc
Panellists:Cllr Robert Boswell, Cabinet Member for the Environment, Preston City Council
Sharon Kemp, Chief Executive, Rotherham Borough Council
Carol Culley, City Treasurer, Manchester City Council & Chair, CIPFA Local Government Board



Talks focused on innovative projects, technologies and strategies in quick fire 10 minute presentations:

  1. Practicalities of utility scale PV – risks and opportunities
    Jo Wall, Strategic Director – Climate Response, Local Partnerships
  2. Promoting the use of lower carbon vehicles
    Steve Carroll, Head of Transport, Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon & Fuel Cell Technologies (Cenex)
  3. Effective governance structures
    Jonny Sadler, Programme Director, Manchester Climate Change Partnership


Roundtable Discussions

Choose from one of the following three interactive roundtable discussion sessions:

  1. Housing and property
    Housing is a huge factor in GHG emissions, most especially in densely populated urban environments. It is essential that local government tackles this, via housing insulation schemes, heat pumps and embedding climate action within planning strategies and guidance. This session will also consider District Heating and CHP schemes, and when they might be appropriate for your locality.
    Moderator: Cllr Gina Dowding, Lancashire County Council & ex-MEP, North West England
  2. Managing flood risks – local government’s role and responsibility
    This session will look at how you should prepare and maintain your strategy for flood risk management, and working effectively with partners, stakeholders, and communities in delivering your strategy. How should you identify future flood risks? We’ll also consider emergency planning and recovery in the event of a flood event.
    Moderator: Will Horsfall, Group Leader, Environment & Climate Change, Salford City Council
  3. Planning for climate resilience
    The planning system helps to plan communities for the future, and it can also influence the move towards a low-carbon society, environmentally friendly options for development and engaging communities in the process. Addressing climate change must be a priority of the planning system to deliver a sustainable future for our communities.

    The discussion will look at:

    • Policy background
    • Embedding climate change in local plans
    • Good practice in determining planning applications

    Moderators: Sharon Kemp, Chief Executive, Rotherham Borough Council & Jo Wall, Strategic Director – Climate Response, Local Partnerships


CLOSING KEYNOTE: Translating global carbon targets into actions at a local level

Prof. Carly McLachlan, Deputy Director, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research


Closing remarks

What have we learnt and where do we go from here?


End of conference


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