Climate Change Tools for Local Authorities
November, 2007

Background to the research

Local authorities in Scotland are taking action in support of Scotland’s Climate Change Declaration  which contains commitments associated with reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change. This requires local authorities to assess their contribution to climate change and the impacts of climate change on their services and communities, and to develop strategies to respond.

There is an increasing amount of information, tools, programmes and methodologies available that could help local authorities deliver the commitments in Scotland’s Climate Change Declaration. In recognition of this, CAG Consultants, in partnership with the Scottish Institute of Sustainable Technology (SISTech) and MWH were commissioned by the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research (SNIFFER) to evaluate their strengths, limitations, and the compatibility of greenhouse gas emissions mitigation and climate change adaptation tools. The research, which is funded by the Scottish Government, has produced a Climate Change Tools Database and supporting guidance for local authorities on Selecting the Right Tools for the Right Jobs.

Objectives for the research

The specific objectives of the research were to:
19 tools were evaluated as part of the project, using information collated from individuals and organisations involved in developing and managing the tools, using an on-line questionnaire, telephone interviews and desk research. A selection of local authority officers were invited to a round table event in September 2007 to understand their needs, views and experience in using tools for addressing climate change.

Key findings and recommendations

The main report identifies the strengths and limitations of a range of tools; and evaluates them against their ability to help local authorities meet Scotland’s Climate Change Declaration commitments; to perform a variety of jobs; and in meeting the needs and capacities of local authorities. The accompanying database and guidance can be accessed at

The research highlighted a number of ways in which policy makers, tool providers, researchers and local authorities could strengthen the development of tools to address climate change. In particular, there is a need for:
Key words: climate change, carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases, local authority, mitigation, adaptation, tools

Copies of this report are available from the Foundation, in electronic format on CDRom at £20.00 + VAT or hard copy at £25.00, less 20% to FWR members.

N.B. The report is available for download from the SNIFFER Website