UK Local Authority | ​Climate Emergency Guide

21st November 2021

industrial facility

Local authorities and cities are at the forefront of the low-carbon transition due to their unique position as hubs of economic activity and community. From this position of opportunity, they are making bold commitments to tackle the worst effects of climate change by declaring a climate emergency, setting ambitious targets, and more.​

Anthesis has a wide array of experience in this field, delivering tailored support to cities, regions, and local governments across the country. Through our work, we support their ambitions to reduce emissions, enable a just transition, and reduce the impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations. ​

What makes us different?

Anthesis is in the unique position to have the ability to support local authorities with all stages of their climate emergency journey from analytics right through to the solution and implementation. This allows us to develop programmes that have a tangible and long-term impact for our clients.

With offices in Manchester, London, Bristol and Oxford, we have reach across the country. We understand the intricacies of each area we work in and have experience supporting both urban and rural authorities. Our work often digs deeper, considering elements such as socio-economic disparity, equity, health, and regional energy supply, to offer solutions that work for you.

We work directly with local, county and regional authorities to provide tailored support wherever our clients are on their journey. ​


We conduct technical analysis, build engagement, and identify opportunities and risks. Our methods combine primary research and data collection, data analytics, scenario modelling and multi-stakeholder qualitative research.

Calculating & Understanding Emissions​ – Supporting you to measure and define emissions to visualise opportunities for reduction:​

  • Borough-wide emissions calculation and contextualisation – Creating the latest borough-wide GHG emissions inventory in line with globally accepted reporting principles and supporting with reporting to non-specialist audiences.​
  • Council emissions calculation – Developing emissions profiles for the councils’ scopes 1, 2 and 3 direct and indirect emissions and providing recommendations for reduction.​
  • Large emitters analysis – Analysing the largest emitters in your region based on inventory analysis, research and local knowledge, serving as a foundation for further business engagement.​
  • Sector-specific analysis – Analysing sectoral-specific Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions for the region, such as aviation, shipping or heavy industrial processes.​
  • Consumption-based emissions profiling – Estimating consumption emissions for the region or council.

Target Setting ​- With a view of your emissions baseline, you are ready to assess the climate target options available to you. We deploy a range of tools to help you understand target options and communicate the process to decision-makers:​

  • Science-based budgeting – Budgeting to reduce emissions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.​
  • Target options analysis – Reviewing absolute reduction pathway options, including Net-Zero by 2030 or 2050, and providing comparison and recommendations of target options.

Pathway Planning – After understanding your emissions and exploring target options, we support you to develop pathways for emissions reduction and quantify key milestones and indicators:

  • Rural emissions profile & scenario analysis – Profiling rural emissions based on agriculture, land use and soil carbon emissions, including estimating the carbon sequestration potential of natural capital.
  • Pathway analysis and reporting – Developing emissions pathways to 2050 across the energy system.
  • Borough-wide scenario analysis – Modelling the emissions impact of potential in-borough mitigation initiatives across sectors.
  • Council scenario analysis – Modelling the emissions impact of potential mitigation activities focussed on the council’s operations and assets.

SCATTER – Through the SCATTER tool, we have offered 100s of local authorities access to standardised emissions reporting. 


Rooted in robust evidence and analytics, we work with clients to identify and design high-impact strategies and solutions that can unlock sustainability both in your organisation and the wider area.

Council Decarbonisation Strategy – We assist in building strategies that focus on your organisational emissions:

  • Action planning & influence mapping – Recommending actions to reduce the council’s own emissions.
  • Council governance optimisation – Reviewing current accountability for climate change mitigation/adaptation within the context of the governance structures in your organisation.
  • Financial appraisal process review – Reviewing the extent to which carbon is considered within your investment and procurement processes.

Decarbonisation & Adaptation Strategy – We support you to build a climate action plan that will help you to understand carbon reduction opportunities in the area, how to address any “gaps to target”, and more:

  • Borough-wide action plan – Prioritising borough-wide emissions reduction opportunities, including key stakeholders, costings, carbon impact, and other implementation support.
  • Citizen emissions – Investigating the relationship between emissions and income and the implications of your action plan.
  • Offsetting strategy & financing – Developing an approach to offsetting. Through our Authority Based Insetting initiative, we are developing a funding vehicle to “match” low carbon initiatives with those looking to fund grassroots green development initiatives.
  • Adaptation planning – Helping you to build a resilience and adaptation strategy through:
    • Assessment of the current picture for adaptation strategies/approaches.
    • Review and synthesis of existing regional climate model projections.
    • Impact analysis & vulnerability mapping – Review of the potential impacts on health, economy and the environment. Looking at ward/LSOA data in your region to map vulnerability factors.
    • Recommendations – Advising on priorities for actions and practical steps to engage others, including identification of the synergies and trade-offs between adaptation and mitigation actions.

Stakeholder Engagement & Training – We can support you to raise the profile of your ambitions, bring in a diverse range of voices, and identify opportunities for future partnerships, both inside and outside your organisation.

  • Training and action planning input support for council stakeholders
    • Carbon Literacy training to equip your staff with the knowledge to drive ambitious climate change action.
    • Sector focus sessions – Exploring key actions within focus areas of your choice.
    • SCATTER the ‘game’ stakeholder session – Gamified sessions to raise awareness of what needs to be achieved and mapping the council influence to prioritise actions.
  • Business & resident engagement support
    • Large emitter framework design & consultation – Designing a climate change engagement framework for your region, helping you convene organisations to take more ambitious, coordinated action.
    • Business & external stakeholder engagement – Providing workshops with stakeholders from local businesses from prioritising actions to establishing a business engagement programme.
    • Rural organisation consultation session – Engaging rural stakeholders to understand the privately-led actions that the Council can support and reviewing barriers and enablers. Supporting in declaring an ecological emergency and reacting acting on a commitment.
    • Citizens assembly presentation/facilitation – Attending and contributing to Citizens Assemblies on climate change.
  • Online collaboration hub

Anthesis can support the development and hosting of a dedicated website through which to encourage further stakeholder engagement. The platform can offer a home for extended conversations beyond initial workshops, further background around the evidence base for action, and input such as polls and quizzes.


Our specialist teams provide support with implementing projects and making practical change. We help to make plans into reality and to deliver results on the ground.

Reducing Energy Consumption – We support you to understand and take advantage of the opportunities for carbon reduction associated with building construction and usage:

  • Investment grade audits – Desk or site-based investigations of building energy performance to highlight top opportunities in low carbon technologies. We also support clients in accessing grant funding such as the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), from project identification through to implementation.
  • Energy modelling – Development of heating/cooling models to predict energy use, CO2 emissions, and energy costs, and ranking of suggested low carbon technologies to help you prioritise next steps.

Regional Energy Planning – Considering what carbon reduction policy means for you in a building development context, we can offer:

  • Support to enhance the evidence base for planning policy and provide both consistency and strategic input into energy systems being installed.
  • Design of district heating systems, including master planning with regards to BEIS’ Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) programme, and drafting of associated policy.
  • Review of historic design standards and in-use operation to understand the performance gap.
  • Options assessment – Assessment of current (revised) design standards to understand how these enhance design, support the transition to Net Zero Carbon and drive down the performance gap.
  • The development of a roadmap to 2030, which details the incremental steps needed to achieve Net Zero operational and embodied carbon standards in new development.

Programme Management – We have several years of experience managing programmes within the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and other low carbon initiatives in the corporate sector. We have access to market-leading contractors and technologies- recent partners include Level 10 and Naked Energy.

We are the world’s leading purpose driven, digitally enabled, science-based activator. And always welcome inquiries and partnerships to drive positive change together.