Report on Peter Lefort’s masterclass: Co-creating Local Action Plans

Twenty of Scotland’s 32 Local Authorities have “Declared a Climate Emergency”.  All across Scotland, community-led groups and their volunteers are beavering away to plan and take practical action to support their communities to face up to the Climate Emergency. 

On Tuesday 30 March 40 participants – elected representatives, council officers and activists – gathered online to hear how one council hundreds of miles away has engaged their constituents in tackling the climate and nature emergency.  

Our starting point was: How can we make it easier for Local Authorities and community groups to work creatively and collaboratively together?

In this workshop, Peter Lefort, Carbon Neutral Cornwall Sector and Partnerships Lead, brilliantly outlined the ‘work in progress’ in Cornwall [Slide Presentation here] to find ways of co-creating and implementing an Action Plan.  [Find the video of his first 20 minutes here.]

Peter explored some questions:  

  • What is the difference between solving a complicated problem and facing up to a complex one – in which there are no definite answers, knowledge and expertise are not enough and we must become comfortable with uncertainty? 
  • If expertise is not enough, how can we welcome multiple perspectives into the conversation to arrive at better solutions? 
  • How can we use these perspectives to move beyond achieving carbon neutrality and reach the real goal of creating just, thriving, resilient ‘wellbeing communities’ for all? 
  • How can moving from seeking consensus to a culture of consent (to an ‘alignment of tolerances’) open up new opportunities for action? 
  • How can the ‘Doughnut Economics’ framework be implemented as a practical tool in policy making?

Reflections on his talk have been captured (below) in an online report with many useful links for helpful documents and guidance.  Peter’s second presentation – on Cornwall’s application of Doughnut Economics was equally well received. [Find second 15 min presentation here.]   

Peter shared the More jazz than Mozart blog by Simon Roberts, Centre for Sustainable Energy, where he muses on musical analogies for tackling the climate challenge following the launch of Bristol’s One City Climate Strategy in 2020. 

Links to the Public Checklist for Council Plans Nov 2020 and Climate Emergency & Engaging Local Authorities Cheat Sheet were also shared by participants who wished they had invited their local council colleagues to attend.  

Hopefully this report [] provides pointers to help co-creation of the next set of Climate Emergency Action Plans in Scotland.