8 - Collective action

Councillor Max Wilkinson on a rooftop in cheltenham

Influencing, engaging, campaigning and behaviour change

Addressing the climate emergency goes beyond simply reducing our GHG emissions and we know we can't achieve the 2030 target alone. We need a tight-knit community that can adapt to coming changes and knows where to turn in the face of a crisis. By working in partnership with organisations and residents across the borough, we can have greater power to influence others and bring about the necessary behaviour change and action needed to achieve our collective global goal.

Ongoing and completed

Cross sector and district working is important in tackling the climate emergency, so we have joined the new "Climate Leadership Gloucestershire" group. We work with other districts in the county to share best practice and learning whilst looking to solve the most challenging of climate actions. The group will work to increase our available spaces for nature, reduce CO2 and ensure a strong focus on improving the health and wellbeing of Gloucestershire’s residents.

The council has established the CheltenhamZero partnership  with the borough’s leading climate change charity, Vision 21. As an active partner, Vision21 will lead our campaign to reach out to communities and businesses, supporting them to make the transition to net zero and tackle the climate emergency collectively. As a precursor to the partnership, we launched a CheltenhamZero ‘Climate Community Fund’ offering grants totalling above £50k to community groups, to enable meaningful carbon reduction and climate action initiatives that can be used to showcase best practice to others.

We have good relationships with higher education institutions which has already resulted in collaborative work across numerous departments of the council, including the green space and climate emergency teams. We recently secured funding as part of the Local Government Association’s ‘NetZero Innovation Programme’, to deliver a project in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire. We continue to use their expertise where we can.


Priority in 2021-23

  • Drive the wider adoption of the CheltenhamZero Partnership across businesses, communities and residents, influencing behaviour change, collaboration and the sharing information and best practice
  • Establish ‘Climate Champions’ among our communities, schools and businesses – building capacity for local people to be involved in
  • helping meet our climate targets, inspiring communities and enterprises to find and implement solutions. Climate Champions will also be established within CBC and our key partner organisations to drive change from within
  • Through mechanisms such as the CheltenhamZero Partnership, provide support to small and medium-sized enterprises, working closely with partners such as GFirst LEP, to access funds and expertise, so that they are able to contribute to carbon reduction and nature restoration plans
  • Explore partnership opportunities for setting up ‘zero carbon hubs’ – decentralised futureproof centres promoting zero emission lifestyles, that help to educate, inform and advise on ‘all things climate’ for individuals and communities. We continue to support the Planet Cheltenham26 initiative in their fight against climate change and social inequality
  • Regularly update the council’s web content27 to ensure the most relevant and up to date information is available to the public
  • Create or signpost to toolkits available for businesses, community groups, individuals and families, relating to topics such as energy, transport, waste reduction and children’s climate education activities
  • Work closely with the University of Gloucestershire to help support local climate-based research, which not only helps to identify opportunities for the Council and the Borough, but also develops the skills needed for our future workforce, enhancing student experience and employability

Priority in 2024-26

  • Use influence with others, such as schools and other private businesses and organisations, to help ensure their buildings are zero-carbon, purchasing is green and the environment they supports nature wherever possible
  • Work with businesses to seek to introduce local incentive schemes that may help influence visitor and resident behaviour change towards more sustainable lifestyles, such as walking and cycling, reduced waste and healthier eating