Climate Emergency support to City of Wolverhampton Council – Part 2: Workshops for staff and Councillors
Sustainability West Midlands
Project Manager: Alan Carr (Senior Sustainability Adviser)
In July 2019, SWM member, City of Wolverhampton Council (CWC), became the ﬁrst local authority in the Black Country to declare a Climate Emergency. It has set a net target to be net zero by 2041 across the City and 2028 for the council’s own operations. In late 2019, the council commissioned SWM to provide an independent review of their draft sustainability strategy and action plan, the methodology for calculating their carbon footprint, and input to their citizen’s assembly. Following a pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic, SWM then delivered part two of our work for CWC: running four virtual workshops for staff and Councillors and contributing to a fifth session for young people.
- Run three virtual workshops for CWC staff to provide an overview of Wolverhampton’s progress to date in tackling climate change and present a call to action as to how all staff contribute to reducing carbon emissions and ensuring that recovery from Covid-19 is a sustainable one.
- Run a fourth virtual workshop, for a cross-party group of Councillors, to empower them to support their residents and businesses to tackle the climate emergency.
- Put together a brief report summarising discussions from each workshop and align this to the recommendations stipulated in our previous strategy review.
- Contribute to a fifth virtual session by presenting on Wolverhampton’s climate emergency plans to young people in the city and providing them with useful ideas and suggestions on how they can help hold local decision makers to account.
Despite the extra demands placed on councils during the pandemic, approximately 70 individuals attended the four council sessions in total, including around 25 Councillors. Approximately 25 young people were also in attendance at the session on 10 August. This represents enthusiasm and genuine interest by a range of people in the city to make a difference. Many pertinent and perceptive points were made at each session and this shows real promise as CWC leads the city’s future response to climate change.
“SWM went above and beyond expectations in this work formatting the workshops so that they were bespoke and unique to Wolverhampton’s situation. As a consequence of both this and the engaging delivery of SWM staff, we are noticing greater enthusiasm from Councillors and staff around this agenda.” – Isaac Vivian, Climate Change Project Manager, City of Wolverhampton Council