300 councils have declared a climate emergency

How do communities respond to the emergency?

What can we learn from each other?

We don’t have the time to reinvent the wheel. We must learn from what others have done – and pass on what we ourselves have tried and learned.

STOP PRESS! there’s now an online version you can use in group calls like zoom – see below


Declaring a climate emergency is a great first step – but a first step is all that it is. We in Talk Shop know from personal experience that working out how to implement it can be very hard. Who do you start with? What do you actually do?

In this situation, it’s a massive help to have some example of what others have tried, and what has worked. That’s what this kit aims to provide.

We used it at the Essex Ideas Festival in October 2019, and were delighted that the Oxford Climate Cafe stimulated a plan for a roving Low Carbon Café.

The material was researched in July and August 2019. We will update it as resources allow.

We are very grateful to, and wish to acknowledge as a source for several examples, 21 Stories of Transition, How a Movement of Communities is Coming Together to Reimagine and Rebuild our World, harvested by Rob Hopkins as the Transition movement’s contribution to COP21 (the 21st ‘Conference of the Parties’), the United Nations’ climate change negotiations in Paris in December 2015.

Holding an event

The purpose of this kit is to help your group design a few local projects to collectively decarbonise some part of your life. It has three rounds:

  1. where each group talks about the cards outlining tested out ideas from around the world – to stimulate your ideas
  2. where individuals call out a project they’d like others to help with – which many be from one of the cards, or something completely different
  3. where people congregate around each project and work up an initial plan

It’s helpful to offer some ongoing coaching and support to each project after the session, to be sure that they do actually get off the ground.

Our instructions assume around 30 people at an event – but they are adaptable for any number working in groups of six. Similarly, they are written for a two hour event, but can be adapted for any length between an hour and a half and three hours.

There are about 30 discussion cards, each with an idea from around the world. .

You can hold the discussion online using this link. You can share the link with everyone in the call, or you can keep control of what they see by sharing it from your desktop. If you give it to all you can additionally give them this 30 sided dice to point them at just one to read and discuss (press “Cast” to roll the dice).

Or you can download and print an older version here, along with the instructions, a facilitators script and a plan template document.

If you hold an event using these cards, do let us know, using our Tell Us What You Need page.. We’d be interested to hear:

  • What practical ideas you propose to take forwards
  • Whether you know of solutions which you think we should add to future versions of the cards