Ashden Events

Local authority toolkit launch: Cutting carbon while improving lives

Local authority toolkit launch: Cutting carbon while improving lives

On 20 June Ashden will launch a toolkit to help local and combined authorities radically cut carbon emissions while delivering wider benefits. We’ll deliver our event in partnership with the Grantham Institute, who will present the headline recommendations from their new briefing paper on the co-benefits of climate action.

Protests by Extinction Rebellion, the remarkable wisdom of youth activist Greta Thunberg and the powerful film making of Sir David Attenborough have all got citizens thinking about climate change and its implications. However, much of the discussion is still about giving things up. We have a different view.

By connecting climate policy making to the needs of everyone, we can show that the consequences of climate action improve lives, instead of diminishing them. The results – which include better jobs, more money in local economies, clean air, better health, travel options, green spaces, and warm and cheap-to-heat homes – all engage peoples’ values, helping drive further change.

We have worked with sustainability leaders from city regions and local authorities to develop our toolkit, providing links to useful data sources, and examples from Ashden winners and pioneering local authorities. Through a co-benefits analysis, we can solve climate and social issues at the same time, and use housing, health, transport, infrastructure and economic development budgets in a smarter way.


Sir Jonathon Porritt, is a British environmentalist and writer. Co-founder of Forum for the Future, he is known for his advocacy of the Green Party of England and Wales. He frequently contributes to magazines, newspapers and books, and appears on radio and television.

Neil Jennings is Partnership Development Manager at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London, and lead author of Co-benefits of climate change mitigation in the UK (2019). He has a PhD from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia.

Simon Brammer is Head of Cities at Ashden, where he leads a programme to influence city region leaders to use their devolved powers to co-solve health, transport and housing problems through climate solutions.

Mareike Schmidt is Head of Operations at Q-Bot (Ashden Awards 2018 winner) who have developed a robot that insulates underneath floorboards. Her previous experience includes several years as an Energy Service manager at Bristol City Council.

Cllr Clyde Loakes is Deputy Leader of Waltham Forest Council, where he leads the Enjoy Waltham Forest programme, one of three ‘mini-Holland’ schemes in London involving major upgrades to cycling and walking infrastructure and improvements to public spaces. The Enjoy Waltham Forest programme is shortlisted for the 2019 Ashden Award for UK clean air in towns and cities.

Agamemnon Otero MBE is co-Chief Executive Officer of Repowering who won an Ashden Award in 2016 for pioneering work installing community owned solar on housing estates in Brixton and Hackney and setting up a successful internship programme for local young people.

Cara Jenkinson, who runs the alumni network of Ashden Award winners that showcases their their work. She co-authored the Co-Benefits toolkit.

Jane Wildblood is the climate change and environmental sustainability professional lead for Bath and North East Somerset Council, where she has worked since 2005, having previously worked at the London Borough of Islington as their sustainability manager. Prior to joining the public sector she was Campaign Director for Greenpeace.

Mark Atherton, Director of Environment for Greater Manchester, transferred to Greater Manchester Combined Authority in May 2017. In this role, Mark provides strategic support to the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub by leading the development and delivery of strategies, policies, research and demonstration projects for environment and low carbon work areas.

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