Community action – research

Scaling up local carbon action: the role of partnerships, networks and policy
Abstract: ‘The transition to a low-carbon society is imperative to climate change mitigation and requires cross-sectoral action at multiple levels. A growing literature emphasizes local action, but less is written about scaling up action at a county level. Combining three analytical perspectives – transition theory, strategic niche management and the middle-out – we examine the evolution and scaling up of local community-scale carbon action in Oxfordshire county. Our analysis is based on four local-level research projects. By identifying the roles and strategies of local actors in the development and scaling up of low carbon innovation and action, we conclude that local meso-level actors are crucial for catalyzing initial stages of county-level transitions, but limited in their capacity to scale up low-carbon innovation.’

Local support for community action on climate change: lessons from the Communities Cutting Carbon project
‘Action by local communities on climate change has been recognised by researchers and policymakers as having great potential to support a transition towards a low-carbon UK economy. Support for such action from community development workers can assist projects and groups to develop, act, and achieve positive results.
This paper explores the work of the Communities Cutting Carbon project to provide support to community groups acting on climate change in the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland sub-region.’

Evaluating the impacts, effectiveness and success of low carbon communities on localised energy behaviours (Oxford Brookes University and University of Oxford, 2015)
‘Low Carbon Communities (LCCs) across the UK have significant potential to secure greater public participation in energy and carbon reduction projects than conventional ‘top-down’ approaches to promoting energy efficiency and distributed generation. According to the national Community Energy Strategy (CES) launched in January 2014 and the CES update published in March 2015, there are now more than 5,000 low carbon community groups (LCCGs) active in the UK working to transform how their community uses energy.’

Community-led responses to climate change – A scoping study (Prepared for the Big Lottery Fund, April 2012)

Communities Living Sustainably Growing and Green Space Report (August 2015)

Practical action to build community resilience (JRF, Feb 2014)
This study looks at lessons from a scheme that helped residents of a York neighbourhood to make their community more environmentally sustainable and adaptable to change.

Best practice review of community action on climate change – Reporting how community initiatives can normalise pro-environmental behaviours (CSE, 2009?)
‘This review of best practice highlights the potential for community-led climate change initiatives to stimulate significant reductions in carbon emissions and to normalise pro-environmental behaviours.’

Policy paper: Galvanising community-led responses to climate change (NESTA, 2010?)
‘The primary evidence base for this paper is the experience of the ten community
initiatives that were the finalists for the Big Green Challenge.’
“The Big Green Challenge demonstrates that, together with other government initiatives, community-led innovation can be a powerful means for delivering national strategic objectives – at a lower cost to the public purse and with less bureaucracy than traditional grant funding processes for community and voluntary groups.”

Opinion
Community action alleviates climate change gloom’ Community-led initiatives in the UK are refocusing the climate change agenda on possibilities not probabilities (The Guardian, Nov 2012; Transition Network)
“While none of these [initiatives] on their own are an adequate response to climate change, combined they represent communities taking visionary leadership when their leaders are failing to do so.”

Book
Low Carbon Communities – Imaginative Approaches to Combating Climate Change Locally