Initial analysis by the new UK Cities Climate Investment Commission suggests that meeting net zero in London and the major cities could bring up to £330bn of investment into the country.
The UK has established a commission to identify green investment opportunities across its cities.
Initial analysis by the new UK Cities Climate Investment suggests that meeting net zero in London and other major cities could bring up to £330bn of investment into the UK.
The commission has been launched by London Councils and the 11 cities that make up Core Cities UK (Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield), along with innovation body Connected Places Catapult.
It marked its launch during London Climate Action Week by publishing research from environmental consultancy Eunomia which estimates that between £110bn and £330bn of green investment is required to meet net zero in the UK’s Core Cities.
The commission reckons this could present a significant opportunity for major players like sovereign wealth and pension funds to invest in green projects across London and the Core Cities.
The commission’s overall aim is to create a robust business case and investment models to deliver net zero, while addressing issues of scale, longevity and confidence.
The initial research shows that domestic retrofit, or making homes more energy efficient, is likely to present the largest investment opportunity.
This is followed by decarbonising transport, the retrofit of commercial buildings, producing renewable electricity, and decarbonising the ways cities collect and dispose of waste.
“Our report reinforces that city leaders are integral to this goal and are the forerunners at taking action against the damaging impacts of climate change”
The report also sets out a range of financing sources being considered by local government, such as municipal community investment bonds, carbon offsetting payments, workplace parking levies and collection charges for contaminated recycling.
“Our report reinforces that city leaders are integral to this goal and are the forerunners at taking action against the damaging impacts of climate change,” said professor Greg Clark CBE, chair of Connected Places Catapult. “Now is the time to support UK cities. Our practical findings will inform their transition paths as cities tackle the challenge of achieving the UK and global targets for net zero over the next three decades.”
Forthcoming work being undertaken by the commission will explore potential financing mechanisms in depth, and deliver recommendations for how investment for net zero can be unlocked.
In an accompanying launch declaration, both London Councils and Core Cities UK report they face a funding emergency as well as a climate emergency, underlining the importance of the forthcoming work, and the engagement of government in this endeavour.
The commission will go on to identify the investment opportunities in detail in a final report that will be showcased to national and international investors attending the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.
Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said the first-stage of the launch reveals “massive opportunities” to create green growth and thousands of jobs across London and the Core Cities.
She continued: “I look forward to showcasing some of these at COP in Glasgow in November.
“Together London Councils and Core Cities are home to almost 30 million people. It is vital that we play our full role in making sure they are not left behind and play a key role on our journey to net zero," she added.
“Local government has a key role to play in reaching climate targets and achieving long term investment for tackling climate change in a way that leaves a positive legacy for our local communities. Only by working together and stressing the need for investment in net zero, from both government and private investors, can we begin to safeguard the environmental future of our cities and those who live, work and visit in them.”
Core Cities UK aims to be a united voice for the cities of Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield which promotes the role of the cities in creating a stronger, fairer economy and society.
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