Mobilising community action towards a low-carbon future: Opportunities and challenges for local government in the UK
Peters, M., Fudge, S. and Sinclair, P. (2010) Mobilising community action towards a low-carbon future: Opportunities and challenges for local government in the UK. Energy Policy, 38 (12). pp. 7596-7603. ISSN 0301-4215
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2010.01.044
Over the last decade the important role that local authorities can play in catalyzing communityaction on climate change has been repeatedly emphasised by the UK Government. The paper examines this policy context and explores the options available to local authorities in terms of reaching and engaging their communities. The type of progressive response shown by some UKlocal authorities is illustrated with empirical evidence gathered through a study conducted in the London Borough of Islington focusing on their recently established ‘Green Living Centre’. The results confirm interest in this major council-led community initiative, with positive attitudes expressed by the majority of those questioned in terms of the advice and information available. However, it is also clear that many participants had preexisting pro-environmental attitudes and behavioural routines. Results from a broader sample of Islington residents indicate a substantial challenge in reaching the wider community, where enthusiasm for sustainability change and interest in this type of scheme were more mixed. The prospect for local government in addressing this challenge – and their ability to trigger and capitalize upon concepts of social change at the community level towardsalowercarbon future – is discussed in the final part of the paper.