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Cumbria County Council

Local climate information from CAPE

Climate change is a global challenge, but reaching the UK's carbon emissions goals requires local action.

Local councils, either through their services, or through their influence on residents and local businesses, have influence over one-third of UK emissions.

mySociety and Climate Emergency UK have created CAPE - to make councils' commitments, plans, and progress on climate action transparent and accessible to all.

We are working to improve the quality of information that is available about local climate action, and about the levels of public support for climate action.

By promoting information sharing and constructive scrutiny, we aim to drive more effective and coordinated action to reduce emissions.

For Cumbria County Council we have collected the following information: powers & responsibilities, your representatives, declarations & pledges, climate documents, council climate scorecard, emissions data and related councils.

This council has been replaced

This council was replaced on April 1, 2023. The new council may or may not reflect any plans or declarations made by this council.

This council has been replaced by:

    Powers & Responsibilities

    Cumbria County Council was a County Council.

    This kind of council has powers and responsibilities for:

    Council buildings and staff

    Climate actions might include:

    • making council offices more energy efficient
    • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ or public transport use among employees
    • providing carbon literacy training for employees
    Passenger transport

    Climate actions might include:

    • encouraging bus and private hire operators to use low-emission vehicles, through licensing requirements or Clean Air Zones
    • incentivising bus use by improving routes, timetables, and ticket prices through ‘Enhanced Partnerships’ with operators
    • proposing to central government the development of light rail / tram networks that integrate, rather than compete, with other modes of transport in the area

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Schools and libraries

    Climate actions might include:

    • reducing the carbon footprint of civic buildings through better insulation and renewable energy use
    • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ or public transport use among employees
    • providing carbon literacy training for employees
    • encouraging eco-clubs at schools
    • using school land to plant trees and hedgerows, or to grow food

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Spending, procuring, and investing

    Climate actions might include:

    • embedding carbon impact assessment as part of the council’s budgeting and financial accountability process
    • utilising Public Works Loan Board loans or the Business Rates Retention Scheme to invest in emissions-reducing capital projects that otherwise wouldn’t get funded
    • specifying low carbon equipment and practices when procuring for relevant services from suppliers
    • prioritising positive environmental impacts during procurement, through the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
    Transport planning

    Climate actions might include:

    • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ like walking and cycling by creating or widening footways and cycleways
    • incentivising Electric Vehicle use by assigning street space to EV charging
    • disincentivising the use of fossil fuel cars through congestion charging,low-traffic neighbourhoods, or the reduction of parking space

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Waste disposal

    Climate actions might include:

    • establishing ‘Joint Waste Solutions’ with neighbouring councils, to get more value out of waste, recycling, and street cleaning contracts
    • running marketing campaigns to encourage residential recycling, reuse, and waste minimisation

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Read more about English local authority powers in the UK100 Power Shift report.

    Your representatives

    We also run, which you can use to find out all your representatives from different layers of local, devolved, and national democracy.

    You can also use it to send a message to your councillors, MP, or other representatives.

    Declarations & pledges

    Climate emergency declaration

    We don’t think this council has declared a climate emergency – let us know if it has!

    Council only pledge for 2050

    “The council is now working towards the international, national and regional aspiration to achieve a low/net zero carbon economy by 2050 and is embedding the impacts of climate change in all council strategies.”

    A council declaring a climate emergency is an official recognition of the urgent need to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change at a local level. See a list of councils which have declared a climate emergency.

    A whole area pledge is a commitment to reduce emissions across the geographic area, including emissions by homes and businesses. See a list of councils which have made a whole area pledge.

    A council only pledge is a commitment to reduce emissions that the council is directly responsible for through its buildings, operations, and services. See a list of councils which have made a council-only pledge.

    Climate Plan Scorecard

    This council’s climate plans as of 20th September 2021 were assessed and scored by trained Climate Emergency UK volunteers, as part of the Council Climate Plan Scorecards project.

    A new scorecard based on council actions will be released in Autumn 2023. Read more about this.

    Show the full Scorecard Read more about the scoring process

    SectionCumbria County CouncilAverage county council
    Total score16%40%
    Section 1 Governance, development and funding
    Section 2 Mitigation and adaptation
    Section 3 Commitment and integration
    Section 4 Community, engagement and communications
    Section 5 Measuring and setting emissions targets
    Section 6 Co-benefits
    Section 7 Diversity and inclusion
    Section 8 Education, skills and training
    Section 9 Ecological emergency

    Emissions data

    2789.7 ktCO2

    Total 2020 emissions

    5.6 tCO2

    per person

    0.4 ktCO2

    per km2












    Public Sector

    The chart below shows change over time in different kinds of emissions. This chart only shows emissions the local authority has influence over, but other national changes also affect emissions.

    The reduction over the last decade mostly reflects decarbonisation of the national electricity grid. This is why the change over time is less interesting than the mix of different emissions types. This reflects different paths required for different council areas to reach carbon zero.

    We have used these emissions to put councils into clusters with similar emissions. Cumbria County Council is in the cluster. See councils with similar emissions profiles, or see all councils in this cluster.

    Data from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy “subset dataset”, representing carbon dioxide emissions within the scope of influence of local authorities. Data has been combined from constituent local authorities.

    Other resources
    Cumbria County Council’s official homepage.

    Download our data

    Data sources

    Much of our data is crowdsourced by an army of volunteers filling in Google spreadsheets. This is then combined with some standard data to enable it to be matched up across sources.

    Links to council climate action plans were crowdsourced in this spreadsheet. If you find a plan document that we’ve missed, read our guide on what we consider a climate action plan and how to add one to our spreadsheet.

    Climate Emergency UK

    Council climate emergency declarations and net zero commitments were largely collated by Climate Emergency UK staff.

    Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

    Local authority CO2 emissions estimates are collated by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

    Council Climate Plan Scorecards Mapolitical

    We make use of data from our Council Climate Plan Scorecards project, which was collected with the support of Mapolitical, who donated their UK Government Political Stakeholder data and Look-up API to help us communicate with local authority officers. Read more on the Council Climate Plan Scorecards site.

    Download all plans

    Download ZIP archive of all documents

    This includes all the documents we’ve found including Climate Action Plans, Climate strategies, pre plans etc. As well as the PDFs, or HTML pages, of the plans, this includes a CSV file (plans.csv) with details and sources for all the included files, along with information like GSS codes to enable linking to other data. The CSV file is available separately, see below for details.


    Access our JSON API

    We are working to expose an increasing quantity of our data through our JSON API. The API pages themselves include a full description of the data available.

    CSV/Excel files

    All our public climate and local authority data is avaliable through our data portal.

    The following files are avaliable as CSV and Excel files.

    If you'd like help working with our data to include it in your service, please get in touch and we will help you do that.

    Download council plan metadata

    Download council net zero commitments

    Download climate emergency declarations

    Download emissions reduction projects

    Download citizens' assembly dataset

    All the above CSV files include the council GSS code, and a three letter council code you can use with the API, to enable matching data across files, and with other sources. The links contain full descriptions of all columns.

    The CSV of emissions reduction projects is limited to Scottish local authorities (see reasoning below)

    Full explanations of the data can be found in the guidance on the Sustainable Scotland Network site.


    The API data and CSV files are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The ZIP file is unlicensed as it contains work issued by local authorities under many licenses.

    Similar councils

    We have built on open datasets to provide comparisons between councils that are similar in a number of dimensions. You can read a detailed breakdown of how we calculated these dimensions on our blog, but here’s a high-level summary:

    Download our nearest neighbour datasets.

    Emissions reduction projects

    We are able to display emissions reduction projects reported by Scottish local authorities, thanks to the ‘Climate Change (Duties of Public Bodies; Reporting Requirements) (Scotland) Order 2015’ which requires them to submit reports on their climate actions to the Sustainable Scotland Network website each year.

    We automatically collect these reports, extract information about the local authorities’ emissions reduction projects, and display them in a more accessible, interactive format, here.

    Sadly local authorities in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland have no corresponding reporting requirement, so data is unavailable for them.


    If you find this data useful we’d love to hear from you about how it was used. It’s helpful for guiding future work, providing examples to others and for talking to existing and current funders.

    Cite this page

    If you've found this site useful and want to cite it, you can use a version of the following format:

    mySociety, Climate Emergency UK (2023). CAPE: Cumbria County Council. Available at: [Accessed 29 Sep 2023].

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