Exploring the association between health, local area characteristics and climate action plans in the UK : cross-sectional analysis using administrative data from 2018 and a citizen science ranking of climate action plans from 2021

Brown, Heather and Butterfield, Scott and Davies, Jessica and Dodd, Steven and Morris, Abigail (2023) Exploring the association between health, local area characteristics and climate action plans in the UK : cross-sectional analysis using administrative data from 2018 and a citizen science ranking of climate action plans from 2021. PLOS Climate, 2 (9): e0000166. ISSN 2767-3200

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Abstract

Local government has an important role to play in mitigation and adaption to climate change. In the UK, 82% of all emissions fall within the scope of local government. However, in UK climate legislation there is no statutory requirement for local government to address climate change. Eighty percent of local authorities have declared a climate emergency and developed climate action plans. The aim of this study is to explore the association between social vulnerability (poor health, financial resources, deprivation, house prices) and the quality of climate action plans as measured by a scorecard system created by Climate Emergency UK. We hypothesis that areas with lower levels of social vulnerability will have higher quality climate plans. We utilised a citizen science created dataset ranking local government’s climate action plans and administrative data on local area characteristics related to social vulnerability at the local authority level. Descriptive analysis and multivariate regression were employed. We found a very small but significant association between total weighted score, central government funding and average house prices. For the individual dimensions of the quality of climate action plans, higher male life expectancy and house prices were associated with better commitment and integration and having a greater percentage of the population over the age of 65 was associated with a lower score in this dimension. More urban areas and less deprived areas had higher scores for planning climate education, skills and training. We suggest that greater national guidance is needed including sharing good practice on how to build community support and additional funding for climate change mitigation/adaption in particular for education, skills, and training in more deprived areas may help to prevent variations in climate action plans increasing inequalities.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
PLOS Climate
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/yes_externally_funded
Subjects:
?? yes - externally funded ??
ID Code:
202038
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
21 Aug 2023 09:50
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
26 Jun 2024 06:54