Guide to meeting with your local electoral candidates

Wondering how to arrange a meeting with your local council or mayoral candidates? Find out how to plan a meeting and secure climate commitments.

27 Mar 2024

Local council and mayoral elections are taking place in May 2024. Meeting with candidates provides an important opportunity to get them to pledge their support for urgent climate action. It also gives you the space to explore their position on key environmental justice issues and helps you build relationships for your future campaigning.

Invite your candidates to meet

First things first, we’ve drafted a template email you can use to ask candidates to meet. We’ve left space for you to tailor the email so you can place your local environmental concerns front and centre. As you’d expect, candidates are very busy during the election period, so try to remain flexible on dates.

In line with political impartiality guidance and to make your campaign as effective as possible, we strongly recommend contacting candidates from all the major parties to request a meeting (Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Party candidates in England, plus Plaid Cymru in Wales).

For council elections there may be lots of candidates in your local area, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to meet with all of them. We recommend that you prioritise meetings with the leaders of your local political parties or all the candidates standing for election in your ward.

If you’d like to find out more about possible elections and candidates in your area, visit  

Plan your meeting

Find a venue

Many candidates will have their own headquarters which can act as a natural venue for your meeting. In the absence of a HQ, a local cafe (if it’s not too busy) or even your local library can work well as a place to meet. Candidates may also offer to meet online.

Make an agenda

For mayoral candidates, we’ve created a 10-point Climate Action Plan for each combined authority region plus London. These Climate Action Plans break down key environmental actions that need to be taken by your elected mayor to ensure the region is doing all it can to combat the climate crisis. You can use your area’s Climate Action Plan to structure your meeting and get the most out of it.

For local council candidates, you may want to use our Climate Action Plan for councils as the basis of your discussion, or your council’s climate scorecard, which assesses the actions it’s taken towards net zero. 

You may want to run through the Climate Action Plan systematically in your meeting, or if you’re worried about running out of time, why not prioritise the issues you wish to discuss? Pick those that most align with the concerns you have for your area, or that you know will be of most interest to the candidate.

Before your meeting

  • Decide who’s going. We recommend going as a group, along with representatives from local partner organisations to help show the breadth of support for your campaign. At a minimum, 2 people from your group should attend to ensure that one person can take notes while the other speaks. If possible, have people who represent the diversity and geographical breadth of your area covered. 
  • Research the candidate. Find out whether they’ve made any previous statements on climate justice, as well as their background in general. Through this, you can identify their interests and the aspects of environmental change that they’re going to be most interested to act on. If you need help with gathering local data for council elections, check out our “Near You” tool, which provides data on how your local area is performing on various climate issues. Our Climate Action Plans for mayoral areas also contain data on how each region is performing. 
  • Finalise your agenda. Ensure you have a checklist of topics to cover in the meeting and think about who’ll say what.
  • Make a climate action pledge sign. This is so you’re ready for any photos with candidates. You can print off our pledge sign for candidates.

Run your meeting

  • Introduce your group and any local partners to the candidate. Don’t expect them to remember who you are or why you’re meeting them.
  • If appropriate, establish as early as you can how much time you have and make sure that you pace your discussion so that you don’t run out of time.
  • Remind the candidate about the purpose of the meeting and check if there’s anything they want to raise as well.
  • Discuss your area’s Climate Action Plan with mayoral candidates or the specific issues you want to focus on with council candidates. This should take up most of the meeting.
  • Ask them to commit to climate action. Find out how to do this in the section below.
  • Close the meeting with thanks and a run-through of any action points agreed.

Secure climate action commitments

Mayoral candidates

The important outcome you should focus on is asking candidates at the end of the meeting if they agree to our climate action pledge.

For mayoral elections, our pledge is:

"I recognise the vital role I have in working with communities to meet our legally binding 2030 climate commitments. I pledge, if elected, to use my powers, funding and influence to deliver the actions necessary to tackle the climate and nature emergencies and build a fairer society for all in my area."


For London Assembly elections, our pledge is:

"If I’m elected to the London Assembly, I pledge to hold the next Mayor of London to account on hitting the 2030 targets to: 

  • Reach net zero climate emissions
  • Bring air quality across London in line with World Health Organisation guidelines."


If they agree, ask them to sign the pledge, or you can sign it on their behalf with their agreement. Once they’ve signed, ask if they’re happy to take a photo with our printable pledge sign. Make sure to post the photo on social media using the hashtag #ClimateMayors2024.

If the candidate declines to take the climate action pledge, then you can still take a photo with them but without the pledge sign.

If you’re meeting online, you can take a screenshot while you’re all on the call with your cameras on.

Council candidates

For council elections, what you ask candidates to commit to will depend on your local context. Perhaps you want your council to:

  • publish a Climate Action Plan or make its current plan stronger
  • build more cycleways
  • oppose a particular local development or climate-wrecking project such as a coal mine or oil extraction site
  • divest from fossil fuels
  • play its part in addressing the costof-living crisis.

If candidates commit to your asks, make sure you take a photo with them holding our printable pledge sign to share on social media and with your mailing list. Ask them to make their commitments public by posting on social media with the hashtags #CouncilElections and #ClimateAction.

Follow up after your meeting

Let us know what your candidates said during your meetings and if they took the pledge or committed to action. This way we’ll be able to build a national picture of what politicians are saying, and help you hold them to account on any pledges they made to you.

Post your photos on social media using the hashtag #ClimateMayors2024 for mayoral candidates or #CouncilElections and #ClimateAction for council candidates. If you’re struggling to meet with other candidates, tagging them could encourage them to meet with you too. When posting your photos, make it clear whether the candidate committed to climate action or not.

Write to the candidate thanking them for meeting you, and outline what you discussed including any commitments they made.

If the candidate didn’t pledge their support, don’t give up hope. Remember, meeting with candidates is only one route to creating change. You can also take other actions in the lead-up to the elections, like holding a hustings, running a social media campaign or engaging local media with your campaign.