How effective are Climate Commissions?

14th February 2023 - 15:33

Climate Commissions adopt a number of roles and have an important impact locally, a report evaluating PCAN's core Commissions in Leeds, Belfast and Edinburgh has found.

Roles range from policy innovation, knowledge brokering, evidence provision on climate change to awareness raising, engagement, facilitation, and challenge. However, the evaluation found that the Commissions have two functions primarily: that of a convenor, bringing disparate organisations and individuals to work together to take action on addressing climate change in their cities, and that of an independent, evidence-based advisor role, providing impartial, robust evidence and advice to influence policy and delivery of climate action. 

The report by CAG Consultants, pointed to the Commissions' influence in informing the development of city councils’ climate plans (e.g. through the Net Zero Carbon Roadmaps), providing a voice for local businesses and employers (e.g. through the Edinburgh Climate Compact), engaging with citizens (e.g. via the Leeds Climate Change Citizen’s Assembly) and youth (e.g. Belfast Climate Youth Survey and Summit), and informing practice on finance and adaptation (eg by providing case studies in adaptation finance to support the Climate Change Committee's newly published report, Investment for a well-adapted UK).

It concludes that the work of the PCAN Climate Commissions has demonstrated that they play a useful role in facilitating concrete climate actions, but that it can take time for this to translate into actual project delivery.

Read more about the report, and download the report, appendix and impact infographics for Leeds, Belfast and Edinburgh Commissions, in our PCAN Commentary by Co-director Dr Candice Howarth and Edinburgh Climate Commission Chair Jamie Brogan.