Local Authorities

Carbon Literacy Toolkit for Local Authorities

What is Carbon Literacy® for Local Authorities?

The Carbon Literacy Local Authorities Toolkit comprises of a suite of flexible and adaptable resources to engage and empower your team on climate change, developing a low-carbon culture across your local authority. With a third of the UK’s emissions directly influenced by local authority practice, policy and partnerships, local authorities have a vital role to play in the UK’s decarbonisation. The Local Authorities Toolkit embeds climate action at all levels of your local authority; enabling cross-departmental knowledge building, collaboration and empowerment to achieve net zero targets.

The initial development of the materials was funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy via the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and a panel of different local authorities have contributed to its development and piloted the materials.

How Carbon Literacy can help your local authority meet climate goals

Three-quarters of local authorities have now declared a climate emergency. The Local Authorities Toolkit provides your staff with the necessary knowledge and skills to implement impactful measures within all operations of local authorities. The practical, solution-focused content of the Toolkit helps identify examples of carbon reduction across the sector, whilst group activities provide an opportunity to work together with other professionals within the sector to develop new ideas.

By sharing and showcasing best practice, knowledge and expertise, colleagues can make informed decisions to address the scale and urgency of the climate emergency. Learners will leave the training with tangible and clear ideas on the methods through which they can directly reduce carbon emissions within their workplace and across the sector.


Here you’ll find all of the courses and pathways within the Carbon Literacy Local Authorities Toolkit. To find out more about each course, click on the individual tiles below.

Key Questions

Who can gain access to use the Local Authorities Toolkit?

The Carbon Literacy Local Authorities Toolkit and all its components are covered by a Creative Commons License and this formulation of materials is Copyright © The Carbon Literacy Trust.

This Toolkit has been designed and curated for the sole purpose of certified Carbon Literacy training within local authorities, local councils and approved partner organisations.

If you would like to find out more or if you would like to adapt a Local Authorities Toolkit Course for the delivery of Carbon Literacy to a different sector or audience, please get in touch at localauthorities@carbonliteracy.com.

What is included in a toolkit?

The Toolkit contains all the resources, materials and information needed to deliver a day’s worth of Carbon Literacy training, including a slide deck, a comprehensive trainer manual, an activity pack and a getting started pack.

Who funded the Local Authorities Toolkit?

The initial development of the Local Authorities Carbon Literacy Toolkit was funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) via the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). 13 different local authorities across England and Wales contributed to its development and piloted the materials.

How often are materials updated?

All Local Authority courses are regularly updated to keep in line with the most recent science and policy.

Local Authorities in Action

Key Delivery Partners

I think the most positive aspect of helping to deliver the training was in sharing views and perspectives with the other trainers and the people participating on the course. With such a diverse range of participants from across the organisation, it makes you more aware of the impact and successes of the Council as a whole and of where you can play a part in this.

Andrew Chase, Policy Officer Directorate for Families, Health and Wellbeing at Manchester City Council

"It was probably one of the most insightful, life-changing training days I've ever been on... You can make change that has an impact, and you can influence others and change the way decisions are made."

Michael Cullen, Borough Treasurer at Stockport Council

"Really thought-provoking and also helpful to see we could make changes at the council if we want to move things forward. Nice to see some successes made by other councils. Really enjoyable to mix with people across the council whilst homeworking - the course was still really effective even though we were in different places. This should be rolled out to all staff, especially those with decision making powers."

Planning – Resource Officer at Winchester City Council

"It’s vital. It’s urgent. Can’t wait. Very interactive / engaging. Powerful."

Diane Eaton, Corporate Director at Trafford Council

"It was thought-provoking and incredibly valuable to step back and look at your daily activities and the impact they have on the world as an individual / community and species. You may think you’re environmentally conscious, but you realise there is always more you can do! This should become policy, not voluntary. I’d love to learn more and become a Carbon Literacy Certified Training Professional so that I can pass this information on."

Vicki Louise Clements, Bids and Tenders Manager at Leicestershire County Council

“By delivering Carbon Literacy to over 40 councillors in Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire using the Parish, Town and Community Councils Toolkit course, our trainers have seen powerful and effective pledges made to tackle the climate crisis in these counties. We look forward to using the new Toolkit course to continue to drive further action and create change-makers in the communities we serve and beyond.”

Groundwork East

“I firmly believe that parish and town councils are the key to engage their communities in adapting to and reducing the impacts of climate change. By understanding the challenges we face and by working together with our higher tier authorities, with community action networks, local residents and businesses, we are stronger together. The Parish, Town and Community Councils Toolkit course builds the knowledge, motivation and confidence for councillors and community members to take positive action and improve all our futures.”

Belinda Bawden, Dorset Council, Lyme Regis Town Council Councillor and Co-founder of Dorset Climate Action Network

"We need to face up to this major challenge, partly because of the health and quality of life of our own residents. We want to clean up the air that they breathe, we want to reduce the use of plastic that's cluttering our rivers and our green spaces. We want to put Greater Manchester in a position of leadership on this crucial issue that will shape the 21st century, but if we are to succeed it does require radical action now."

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester

"You will learn and think about things you hadn’t previously considered, regardless of your level of knowledge."

Paul Farrand, Senior Planner at Trafford Council

"I've been working in renewable energy and sustainability for several years, so when I went on the Carbon Literacy program, I thought, "well, I wonder what it will teach me?" And I came back inspired and driven to carry on spreading the message. I saw how valuable it was and that, if it can talk to professionals that work in the sector but also engage at a level for people that have maybe very little understanding of [climate change], to be able to have a training program that speaks across the board was just so powerful. And so I was very keen to become a trainer myself and to pass this on throughout my council. So, yes, I highly recommend it!"

Naomi Wise, Sustainability Officer at Winchester City Council

“I thought the Parish and Town Council course was brilliant. Having been involved in developing a programme for climate change in our council for a few years, I thought I knew all that I needed to know. But the course was not only a great refresher, but it was particularly great in showing me how to engage our local community in tackling climate change.”

Clerk, Town Council

“The Toolkits are really fantastic packages of learning because you get everything you need in a day to go off and start taking action and talking to other people. As soon as I got the Leadership and Management Toolkit, I thought it was exactly what we need. The overall feedback we got from learners was that they found the sessions very, very valuable. I have had feedback that learners are going to see how they can thread Carbon Literacy through their work.”

Amy Scoins, Strategic Environment Officer, Leicestershire County Council

“The toolkit is well structured and really tailored to the needs of elected members. You can feel confident that the science and insights you are providing are well researched. The training gives Councillors the tools and skills to be able to evaluate proposals based on their ability to limit climate change and bring about additional benefits.”

Clare Foster and Hannah Swinburne, Peterborough City Council

“It is vital and totally changes what you think and know about the climate emergency. Having the dedicated time to learn was incredibly valuable and something that I have never had time to do in the past.”

Community Leader, Plymouth

Request a Course

To speak to our Local Authorities team or request a course, please contact us at localauthorities@carbonliteracy.com, and include the following information:

  • Your organisation
  • List any courses you are interested in
  • Any plans for roll-out if you have them

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