Collection: Environmental governance

Local government has a crucial role in leading climate action and managing the impacts of climate change. They are at the forefront of preparing communities against a changing climate, through delivering resilient and forward-thinking community planning, transport, infrastructure and waste management. Local councils also play a role in establishing and developing community connection to the environment through educational services.

This collection showcases a range of LGIU work that explores all things environmental governance on a local level, including best environmental practice from local leaders around the world, the importance of community engagement, and adaptation and resilience strategies. From exclusive LGIU member content to our Global Local newsletters, plus articles which are free for anyone to read, this collection provides resources to support better policy and practice for your communities. This collection has something to offer for staff and councillors in public services that aspire to drive environmental and socio-economic success in their areas.

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Local government finance 💰

This edition highlights innovative practice and shares resources to help you make the best of your budget. We go beyond the bottom line with findings from LGIU’s Local Democracy Research Centre, which is currently exploring local government funding and finance systems from around the world.

LGIU member resources

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Leaders in local environmental governance

Sharing the leading policies and practices in local environmental governance around the world is critical for finding innovative solutions to the impacts of climate change. At LGIU, we believe strong environmental governance can be achieved by sharing ideas, comparing approaches and exploring learning opportunities from local governments across the world.

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Climate action during a permacrisis – Insights from Chief Executives

This briefing summarises our LGIU & VLGA Global Local Executive Panel, where senior decision-makers in local government from around the world discussed how local government can approach climate action while in permacrisis. Open only to LGIU members and Global Local subscribers. Read here.

Climate action leadership – Highland Council’s Climate Action Committee

Local government holds a critical role in achieving Scotland’s 2045 net zero targets. However, the exact route for local government to do so remains less clear. Following in the path of numerous Highland Council Climate initiatives, we take a look at Highland Councils Climate Change Committee to examine what climate leadership can look like in local government in this article. Open to everyone, read here.

Use your power – The importance of brave and visible climate leadership

Local government needs to be creative and flexible to lead climate action. This article looks at how some councils are taking action at a community level. Open to everyone, read here.

Becoming a water sensitive city: Lessons from the City of Gold Coast

This member-only briefing explores City of Gold Coast’s water strategy which articulates clear and tangible actions to be completed by 2024 and aligns them with long-term goal of becoming a water sensitive city – moving the city into a sustainable future whilst maintaining its unique water-abundant lifestyle. Read here.

Leading edge – Local partnerships delivering improved action for net-zero

Having declared a climate emergency and set a target for net-zero, many local authorities are now taking a similar approach to local climate action. Using examples of local climate partnerships, this member-only briefing explores the rationale for engaging in partnership working, the types of partnerships that have been established and the benefits of this form of collaborative working. Read here.

Leading out loud – Local climate leadership

This member-only briefing identifies some of the challenges around leading and delivering local climate action, discusses the importance of effective leadership and using case studies, outlines how strong local leadership can help deliver infrastructure projects and service changes that contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It will be of interest to senior councillors and local government officers who are involved in designing the delivery of local climate initiatives. Read here.

Showcasing good practice: Local government climate change case studies

The Improvement Service has launched an interactive collection of local government climate change case studies. In this article, Climate Change Project Manager, Judi Kilgallon explains the efforts to showcase how councils across Scotland are working to drive change. Open to everyone, read here.

Engaging the community

From flooding and bushfires to economic insecurity and health problems, climate change currently poses numerous threats to communities around the world. In order to successfully transition to a greener economy and manage the impacts of climate change, we need community engagement and inclusivity at the forefront of local action.

Community engagement, through fostering spaces for different voices to be heard, delivering environmental education and encouraging local participation in sustainable activities, is critical to ensuring inclusive climate action is being delivered. Communities that collectively address the climate crisis together are in turn improving their health, wellbeing and local neighbourhood.

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Social inclusion in climate resilience planning

This article highlights perspectives on integrating gender and social inclusion into climate resilience planning in India, Bangladesh, and Ecuador, based on a virtual event at the ICLEI World Congress 2022. Open to everyone, read here.

Put your money where your mouth is: Investing in sustainable regional food systems and communities through public procurement

This article reflects on an event organised by Food for Life Scotland (FFLS) and Sustainable Food Places (SFP). The event brought together a broad range of organisations working on public food in Scotland, all of whom believe that food procurement is of vital importance in building a better food system in Scotland. Open to everyone, read here.

Climate commons: putting communities at the heart of the transition to net zero

From flooding and heatwaves to economic insecurity and health, the climate crisis currently poses numerous threats to communities in the UK. Alongside the clear challenges, the transition to a greener economy also offers the opportunity to reshape local areas in a way that improves health and wellbeing, and quality of life, and tackles inequalities. We explore this further in this member-only briefing, read here.

Adaptation and resilience

Fire, flood, food insecurity and pestilence as a result of climate change are no longer far-off prospects. From fires in Greece, heat domes in the Pacific North West, and floods in Australia and Italy – once rarer natural disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity. While reducing greenhouse gas emissions and working toward other mitigations are important, adaptation must become a central part of local authority climate governance.

Local governments are all about making places safe and prosperous, with more extreme weather events in our future this will look different and have costs and consequences as well as opportunities.

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Urban planning for climate change mitigation

In this member-only briefing, we explore how climate change continues to set an alarming trajectory and is already borne out in the more frequent and extreme weather events we’ve witnessed in recent months. Current global efforts to avoid the potentially catastrophic effects of global warming above 1.5 degrees are not sufficient, and more climate change mitigation efforts are needed urgently. Read here.

Weathering the storm: the importance of adaptation and resilience in place-based climate action with local government in the lead

The effects of climate change are becoming more apparent with every passing month and year. This member-only briefing highlights the importance of adaptation within local authority climate governance and explores six case studies of councils in the UK and Ireland working to improve adaptation and develop resilience. Read here.

Green infrastructure: five innovative ways of creating healthier, greener cities

Home to over half of the planet’s population, urban areas are responsible for a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions. This member-only briefing will focus on the benefits of green infrastructure within cities and will highlight ways in which local governments across Europe are working to create greener urban spaces. Read here.

Shaping a just and fair transition through UK City Deals: best practice and future opportunities for place-based climate mitigation

Through engaging with new original work exploring the climate action credentials of the City and City Region Deals, this member-only briefing highlights key trends, best practice and future opportunities for place-based climate change mitigation. Read here.

Adaptation actions in cities: what works?

Climate change adaptation is an issue of increasing urgency. AECOM’s report for Defra compiled and analysed case studies in five cities to answer how we can evaluate the impact on climate risk of adaptation actions and what characteristics of successful actions or projects may be transferable to other projects. This member-only briefing explores the details, read here.

How can nature-based infrastructure provide solutions to flooding? A global look at adoption

In the coming decades, the impact of coastal, fluvial and pluvial flooding will significantly increase across many parts of the world, making effective flood risk management crucial. This member-only briefing looks at how nature-based flood measures are receiving increasing attention for their ability to not only provide the same protection as grey infrastructure but co-benefits including ecosystem conservation. Read here.

Economic opportunities from climate action

LGIU’s report on exploring economic and enterprise opportunities from climate action, alongside two supplementary resources. The first summarises the findings of the report, drawing out key lessons and signposting back to case studies. The second provides coverage and analysis of a recent conference on the same subject.

Report: Exploring Economic and Enterprise Opportunities from Climate Action

This report by LGIU for the Eastern and Midlands Climate Action Regional Office (CARO) in Ireland utilises international case study work to explore the economic opportunities of climate action at a local level across the global stage,  drawing out practical lessons for local adaptation and mitigation efforts. Read it here.

Economic opportunities from climate action – report summary and lessons

Drawing from a recent report from LGIU for Ireland’s Eastern and Midlands CARO looking at the economic opportunities arising from climate action for local authorities, this briefing provides an executive summary of the key lessons, signposting back to case studies in the report. Read the full summary here.

Economic opportunities from climate action conference: local authorities supporting enterprise in Ireland

A recent virtual conference, organised by the CCMA, aimed to share best practice and research undertaken by Irish local government on the subject of enabling economic opportunities through climate action. This briefing provides coverage of the conference, outlining some of the research and examples showcased by the event and drawing out key themes. All the conference details available here.