Frequently Asked Questions



Who is the Climate Just resource for?

Information about who the resources are for can be found in Who needs to do what? The resources will be of particular interest to people developing and delivering responses to climate change and extreme weather events, managing carbon emissions and dealing with issues associated with fuel poverty.


What’s in the Climate Just resource?

Summaries of evidence about how climate and extreme weather events disproportionately impact some people and communities as a result of differences in their personal, social and environmental characteristics.  The resource currently includes information about vulnerable groups with respect to flooding, heat-waves and cold weather (fuel poverty).  It also includes information about which groups tend to emit most carbon. Information is structured through a set of central questions:

Mapped data showing some of the indicators known to influence unequal impacts and how they come together in local neighbourhoods across England.

Information about patterns of potential exposure to climate and extreme weather events.

Suggestions about possible responses at the local level, both in terms of broad approaches and specific actions in relation to particular social groups. There are actions connected to each of the evidence summaries.

Case studies to show what has been done in some local areas, including an assessment of benefits and barriers.

Information about other tools and resources to help local authorities and their partners in service provision to develop measures which take account of potential inequalities.

Information about why you should be interested in developing socially just responses.

More information about the contents of the Climate Just resource can be found here.     


How do I use the Climate Just resource?

The resources in this site can be used in a number of different ways. For example, you can use the resource to review data for your local area, to generate a summary of evidence in preparation for local awareness-raising events or to develop a list of actions which are relevant to issues in your local area. The material in the site can be searched via themes of interest or geographical area or you can use the central questions to guide you. Answers to each of the questions are structured into six sections:

  • Who/What are we concerned about?
  • Why is it important to act?
  • Where is there an issue?
  • What can be done?
  • How can we do it?
  • Where to go for more information


Why should I be interested in socially just responses to climate change and extreme weather events?

Information about socially just responses and why they are important can be found here. There are legislative, social and ethical arguments for considering social justice issues in developing and delivering adaptation responses. Actions which aim to build social resilience can be made more effective if they take account of the potential for uneven impacts. For example, the overall burdens of dealing with the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events can be reduced if initial adaptation measures take account of how people and places have different susceptibilities to negative impacts and how some communities are less able to prepare for, respond to and recover from extreme events compared to others.


What does it mean when a neighbourhood is classified as being disadvantaged in relation to climate change and extreme weather events?

A summary of what the data shows is available as an answer to one of the site’s central questions Which places are disadvantaged? A glossary of terms is also available.


How can I get data for my local area?

The Climate Just resource has a dedicated map area. It contains mapped indicators and indicator compilations for the themes covered in this resource. Data can also be downloaded.


How can the information in the portal help me to develop adaptation strategies?

Developing a local adaptation strategy needs to account for local characteristics, local issues and local priorities. The resources in this site can help you to learn more about some of the wider issues, to review information about your local area and to develop tailored responses. The underlying data can be accessed to allow you to develop your own mapped resources, including supplementing some of the national level data with your own local sources.  


How reliable is the information in the Climate Just resource?

The development of this resource has been overseen by a steering group of national and local stakeholders as well as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Environment Agency and ClimateUK. Evidence has been compiled from a number of different sources and has involved a number of different teams. Many of the evidence summaries have been reviewed by practitioners working in relevant areas, such as health, buildings and planning.


The data in the map area relate to broad neighbourhood characteristics developed from publically available sources such as the UK Census of Population. These data can be supplemented with finer scale data and additional local data holdings. More guidance for use of the map resources can be found here, together with information about their limitations.  


Where can I get more information?

Each of the evidence summaries contains a list of further information resources, including external tools, case studies, guidance and evidence compilations. Much of the material has been developed from research work supported through the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Specific questions can be directed to ClimateUK, who are hosting and managing the content of the website.


How can I make suggestions about the content of the Climate Just resource?

Feedback and suggestions about the contents of this site should be directed to ClimateUK.


How can I get information for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

This resource has been developed in the context of the legislative framework and data for 2011 for England. However, some of the data resources were initially developed for the whole of the UK (for 2001). Additional follow-up work has been carried out for Scotland, the results from which are hosted separately.


How do I create map data from the download files? 

The download data are provided in spreadsheet format as a list of Census areas (Middle Super Output Areas or MSOAs) and their associated attributes. Attributes are available for socio-spatial vulnerability, exposure and disadvantage. The ‘look up’ tab provides more information. In the ‘look up’ tab there is information about the unique code for each Census unit. Unique codes are provided in the field (column) called MSOA11CD. For example the unique code for the 2011 MSOA Census Unit for ‘Kingston upon Hull 008’ is ‘E02002659’.

GIS format (map) data of MSOA Census Units are freely available from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The ONS website has a section containing ‘2011 MSOA boundaries’ which can be found here. The site provides shapefile format GIS files which are suitable for mapping. The shapefiles contain the same MSOA unique code as the spreadsheet field (column) called MSOA11CD. This unique code can be used as a means of joining data from the attribute file to the shapefile. Data can be matched in several ways. However, it is recommended that this is done within a GIS package using an attribute join (e.g. ArcGIS, QGIS or MapInfo). Once the data are joined the attached attributes can be mapped. Depending on the GIS package, you may need to export the downloaded spreadsheet to a text (e.g. CSV) file before it can be joined.


What is the LA summary spreadsheet and how do I use it?

The Local Authority summary spreadsheet is a tabular summary of the mapped socio-spatial vulnerability, socio-spatial vulnerability dimensions, exposure and disadvantage data for each Local Authority in England. The spreadsheet contains information about the number of neighbourhoods (Middle Super Output Areas (MSOAs)) that exceed a particular threshold score. Two threshold scores are used. The first is ‘extremely low’ and the second is ‘extremely high’. Scores for ‘extremely low’ are < -1.5 (i.e. extremely low or slight). Scores for ‘extremely high’ are > +1.5 (i.e. extremely high or acute). The scores themselves are explained elsewhere, e.g. in the ‘Readme’ tab of the spreadsheet containing the flood disadvantage data. Neighbourhoods classified as being ‘extremely high’ are generally of greatest concern for action. Comparing the count of ‘extremely high’ neighbourhoods with the count of ‘extremely low’ neighbourhoods gives an idea of potential inequalities within a particular Local Authority.

As an example, there are two columns in green in the LA summary spreadsheet. These relate to scores for the sensitivity dimension of socio-spatial vulnerability (i.e. measuring the relative proportion of older people and people in ill-health in a particular neighbourhood). The green-coloured column on the left shows the number of neighbourhoods in a listed local authority which have a sensitivity score classified as being ‘extremely low’ (or slight). The green-coloured column on the right shows the number of neighbourhoods in a listed local authority which have a sensitivity score classified as being ‘extremely high’ (or acute). The counts for the sensitivity dimension of socio-spatial vulnerability can be compared to the counts found for other dimensions of socio-spatial vulnerability, exposure or disadvantage, i.e. in the other columns in the spreadsheet. The information in the spreadsheet also allows an assessment to be made of the numbers of ‘extremely high’ or ‘extremely low’ scoring neighbourhoods in relation to the total number of neighbourhoods (MSOAs) in that particular Local Authority (‘Number of MSOAs’ column) or the total number of neighbourhoods (MSOAs) in the whole of England.