Local Partnerships already provides services in key climate response areas including energy efficiency, waste, housing, regeneration and growth, air quality, energy, finance, infrastructure, digital transformation and health and social care.

Our support to the public sector is focused on four key areas:

  • Carbon reduction
  • Adaptation
  • Resilience
  • Climate leadership

Key areas of support provided by Local Partnerships include:

  • Emissions reporting – review and report on scopes 1 & 2 emissions to standards required by legislation 
  • Emissions reporting – develop with the client their initial Scope 3 emissions approach, and make recommendations for both projects to reduce emmssions and developing improved reporting in future periods
  • Greenhouse gas baseline reporting and target mapping to net zero position
  • Advice on developing viable options and to reduce and offset emissions, including options appraisal
  • Adaptation strategy – review adequacy of existing plans and support in developing risk assessments and development of adaptive pathways
  • Resilience planning – test existing emergency planning functions for appropriate climate related emergencies
  • Identification of barriers to rapid change
  • Governance – test and report the fitness for purpose of existing governance arrangements for climate emergencies and associated decision making 
  • Asset review – identifying potential for other uses which could aid climate initiatives – this can extend to support in developing or acquiring new assets
  • Policy levers – this could include planning policy, HMO licencing, taxi licencing, etc.
  • Climate leadership advice – including advocacy and practical action plans

Climate Adaptation Toolkit

Local Partnerships has developed a climate adaptation toolkit that is free for local authorities to use.

The toolkit is intended to provide a supportive framework to enable local authorities to develop their risk assessments and adaptation pathways by providing a bridge to the technical information and guidance provided by UKCP18, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Committee on Climate Change. The toolkit includes a tool to help you match your risk profile to the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment.

Local Partnerships have consulted extensively with local authorities whilst developing this toolkit and we are keen for you to take a look.

Greenhouse Gas Accounting Tool

The Greenhouse Gas Accounting Tool has been developed by Local Partnerships, working with the LGA, to provide a straightforward and consistent approach for councils seeking to calculate their own carbon baseline. While currently local authority reporting on emissions is voluntary, consistent and easy calculation of an annual carbon baseline is an important part of managing the carbon in our organisations.

The tool produces summary tables and charts to help local authorities understand their most significant sources of emissions, which can then be used to prioritise actions to reduce carbon emissions.

Councils are also able to benchmark their emissions with other councils to understand how their performance compares with their peers. To participate in the benchmarking please submit your completed baseline by email to

The Greenhouse Gas Accounting Tool and FAQ has been updated as of 27th April 2022.

The tool has been reviewed by the Carbon Disclosure Project for compliance, and can be used to disclose council emissions data to the CDP-ICLEI Unified Reporting System in the Local Government Emissions section.

The tool is free to use for all councils in England.

In 2020 – 21 we helped our clients achieve :

Climate Response

In an extraordinary year where the public sector has been heavily engaged in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, councils have held fast to their climate ambitions, putting their climate strategies at the heart of economic recovery plans. Against this backdrop Local Partnerships’ support has focused on helping the sector to deliver at scale and pace.

We provided support to Milton Keynes Council in the development of its Sustainability Strategy Action Plan.

This included emissions baselining and pathway analysis to carbon neutrality. We provided a programme management office (PMO) to explore potential opportunities and accelerate progress of energy projects across the city, including Re:fit and projects linked to housing. Milton Keynes was successful in securing Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery funding to deliver heat decarbonisation to 286 dwellings to low-income Council tenants.

We helped five Councils (Milton Keynes Council, Buckinghamshire Council, Medway Council, Wirral Council and Hertfordshire County Council) with the creation of their carbon baselines and net-zero trajectories. We facilitated workshops with key stakeholders within these authorities to explore their Scope 3 emissions reporting which has supported engagement across those Councils to identify the priority services and procurement activities on which to focus reporting efforts.

We provided commercial advice to local authorities looking to invest in, or develop, renewable energy schemes and have undertaken such projects for Adur and Worthing Councils, Lewes District Council and Manchester City Council.

We entered into a strategic relationship agreement with Aurora Energy Research enabling us to provide local authorities with high quality energy price and carbon intensity data. Our contract with Aurora Energy Research provides a route for local authorities to access market- leading intelligence for their projects without the burden of a full subscription.

Low carbon heat networks are an increasingly important tool in the fight against climate change. We assisted various local authorities in ensuring that commercial arrangements represent value for money.

In spring 2020 Local Partnerships developed and published a Greenhouse Gas Accounting Tool, in association with the LGA and reviewed independently by CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project). The tool is free for local authorities to download and has attracted public sector, including a citation in the Committee on Climate Change’s advice for local government.

Our launch event was attended by 120 delegates and by May 2021 the tool had been downloaded by over 200 local authorities.

We produced two pieces of sector- specific guidance on behalf of the LGA: Renewable Energy Good Practice Guidance, and Financing Green Ambition – a Practical Guide for Local Authorities.

We undertook a study on the use of local taxation systems to incentivise building retrofit projects for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

We facilitated knowledge sharing exercises throughout the year with the sector. This included an extensive programme of webinars and journal publications on a broad range of topics such as green recovery, tree planting, use of the carbon accounting tool and renewable energy development.

Hear more from Sarah-Joy Lewis:

Air Quality

Despite the effects of last year’s lockdowns causing dips in urban traffic and related air pollution levels, poor air quality is still a huge environmental problem in the UK.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), is a toxic pollutant derived from combustion processes and most notably is produced by diesel and petrol vehicles. 33 towns and cities in England have been in breach of the legal limits for NO2 and Defra and the Department for Transport (DfT) set up the Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) in 2017 to help address the issue.

Since JAQU’s inception we have worked with each local authority identified to develop detailed plans to reduce the NO2 levels in their urban areas.

We assisted with the business cases for the local authorities’ air quality improvement plans and support the development of the commercial, financial and management cases.

We undertook quality assurance reviews, supported the production of the legal agreement between JAQU and local authorities, provided procurement advice and are an active member of the JAQU Programme Board.

Hundreds of initiatives have now been implemented across England as a result of the programme – including the construction of cycle ways, car scrappage schemes, support to bus and taxi firms to upgrade their fleets to electric, bus retrofit incentives, changes to road and junction layouts, communication campaigns etc. The scheme aims to reduce the number of polluting vehicles on the roads by incentivising a move to cleaner vehicles, including electric, and making it safer and easier to switch to walking and cycling. The most significant project last year was the launch of the first Charging Clean Air Zone around Bath in March 2021.

Hear more from Huw Russell:


For more information about what we have helped our clients achieve, see our 2020-21 impact report.

Domestic Retrofit

Housing retrofit is a complicated and risk-laden challenge, and it is just one of the many actions required to achieve net zero carbon targets in each locality. Meanwhile, net zero is just one priority of the many social economic and environmental priorities each council is facing. Yet we know that without concerted public sector intervention to address domestic energy efficiency, legally binding national and local net zero targets will be missed.

Local Partnerships was commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) via the five Regional Energy Hubs to produce this Local Authority Housing Retrofit Handbook to provide practical advice to local authorities in England. It brings existing resources together in one place and gives a suggested order in which to work through this material.

Emissions reporting and preparation of responses to climate emergency

Local Partnerships is currently working with a number of authorities to develop responses to declarations of climate emergency. We have been working with these authorities to determine their emissions baselines, plot forward trajectories and develop action plans for dealing with greenhouse gas reductions in order to become carbon neutral authorities.

Our recommendations span a wide range of measures from asset reviews to building energy efficiency, utility scale renewable energy generation schemes and air quality measures. We always challenge ambition and look to influence the wider area as well as the authority’s own emissions.

Renewable energy and energy efficiency

We support public sector bodies in the development and delivery of strategic regional carbon reduction plans (as part of City Deals and Regional Growth Plans), local renewable energy generation projects (such as wind and solar facilities) and improving the energy efficiency of their estates.

Projects include utility scale renewable energy generation assets (solar PV and wind), building energy efficiency programmes, street lighting programmes and district heating networks.

We can provide insights around grid connection availability and support clients with grid connection applications.



We work with public sector organisations outside London to deliver the National Re:fit Programme, an energy efficiency programme that guarantees substantial financial savings whilst improving the energy efficiency of assets. The Re:fit programme is a procurement initiative for public bodies wishing to implement energy efficiency and local energy generation measures to their buildings or their estate, with support to assist in the development and delivery of the schemes. These measures improve the energy performance of buildings. As a result, carbon emissions are reduced, and substantial guaranteed annual cost savings are achieved.

The framework provides a guaranteed 100% of the energy saving or generation (kWh) via a contractual agreement for the payback period of the project, this key feature is helping to remove risk of failure with new developments, plus protecting the client and their investment.

As part of the Re:fit Programme, Local Partnerships audits participants’ energy and carbon data, and helps them establish achievable targets and pathways to those targets. This includes projecting energy and carbon costs into the future and whole-life cycle costing modelling to help with the business case of the kind of large infrastructure projects that will be needed to achieve net-zero carbon targets.

Air quality initiatives

We have worked with Defra and the Department for Transport on the Joint Air Quality Unit’s (JAQU) national programme to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide – a particularly toxic pollutant – in 33 local authority areas. The primary source of nitrogen dioxide is road traffic and concentrations build up in urban areas with heavy road usage and congestion. We helped the affected local authorities develop plans to reduce the most polluting traffic, encouraging people to walk, cycle, take public transport and accelerate the uptake of cleaner forms of transport, such as electric vehicles.

We supported local authorities to develop these complex plans. We provided guidance in areas such as governance, risk management, project planning, finance and procurement. We helped a number of councils to develop outline business cases for their plans.

Waste initiatives

We support Defra to formulate and assess the impact of policies that have featured prominently in the government’s “Resources and Waste Strategy” that lays the foundation for plans to double resource productivity and eliminate avoidable waste of all kinds (including plastic waste) by 2050.

Planning for a future climate

We work extensively in housing, housing infrastructure and renewable energy development, to ensure that schemes are all designed to the highest environmental standards and anticipate the changing nature of the climate in the area.

We have developed a range of strategic tools, covering infrastructure planning and delivery and housing market-making, through our work in other areas (particularly Greater Manchester and Greater Lincolnshire) which can be used to plan and deliver place-based economic and housing growth.


Main Contact

Jo Wall

Strategic Director – Climate Response


Mobile: 07770 702 386

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