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Circle with PCAN written in the center, with the words PLACE-BASED CLIMATE ACTION NETWORK written next to the circle

The Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN) is about translating climate policy into action ‘on the ground’ to bring about transformative change. This ESRC-supported network brings together the research community and decision-makers in the public, private and third sectors through five innovative platforms: three city-based climate commissions(in Leeds, Belfast and Edinburgh) and two theme-based platforms on finance and climate adaptation, with business engagement integrated into the working of each climate commission.

Innovations in governance and finance will ensure the flow also spreads laterally, informing learning, creating connections and building momentum. The aim is to establish an agile, effective and sustainable network for climate action that is embedded in localities, and that through partnerships with local authorities will build broader capacity to effect transformative change.

The Network has the following components: 1. Place-based climate commissions: PCAN will develop three city-level climate commissions, in Belfast, Edinburgh and Leeds. The concept is already being piloted in Leeds as an innovative structure for sustained two-way, multi-level engagement between national and local policies and practices. We will work on the replication of these commissions in other cities and local contexts to further broaden the Network’s reach.

2. Thematic platforms: There are theme-based platforms, on adaptation and finance, with business interests represented and integrated throughout at climate commission level. These networks focus on stakeholder groups that are particularly important for place-based climate action and are co-created with representatives from their respective communities.

3. The PCAN Fund: We are opening the Network to the wider community of climate change researchers and research users by commissioning 20 to 30 small grants totalling £400,000 over five years. The grants are awarded competitively, with a focus on engagement activities, user-oriented analysis, innovative approaches and support for early-career researchers.

4. Communication and user-oriented research synthesis: An active outreach strategy connects place-based activities and informs wider climate action by co-producing, synthesising and communicating decision-relevant analysis. This programme of user-oriented outreach will leverage the work of PCAN’s host institutions and other ESRC investments.

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