The Essex Climate Action Commission is part of the Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN). The PCAN network is about translating climate policy into action ‘on the ground’ to bring about transformative change. It is supported by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) and brings together the research community and decision-makers in the public, private and third sectors through city-based climate commissions and theme-based platforms on finance and climate adaptation.
The five-year project is led by an experienced team of researchers with strong track records of engaging with public, private and third-sector decision-makers. PCAN builds on the policy connections, networking capacity and research strengths of its host institutions: the Centre for Sustainability and Environmental Governance at Queen’s University Belfast; the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation; the University of Leeds, and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The key to implementing climate action lies increasingly at the local level, with the participation of local actors, businesses and citizens. This is recognised and championed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the UK Committee on Climate Change. The aim of PCAN is to strengthen links between national and international climate policies and their local delivery. Clear policy signals by the UK Government remain essential, but the important decisions are made beyond Westminster, creating opportunities for climate action within localities: decisions about low-carbon business opportunities, renewable energy investment, urban transport, energy management, buildings efficiency and the management of climate risks.
PCAN will be successful if it can inform the climate change decisions of stakeholders across its platforms. PCAN will focus on activities that support key UK policy objectives and their local implementation, such as: the city strategies of Belfast, Edinburgh and Leeds; the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, Clean Growth Strategy, and 25-year Environment Plan; the statutory carbon budgets; the third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment; the recommendations of the UK Green Finance Task Force, and the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), as well as the climate strategies of Scotland and Northern Ireland.
PCAN will respond flexibly to evolving demands. This will ensure that the platforms we create become self-sustaining and can be replicated elsewhere.