3Ci Launched to Help UK Cities Attract Global Investment for Net Zero Projects

The leaders of cities including, London, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield have committed to ensure that local action and private investment are combined so that real change can be achieved to transform communities to a net zero future.

3Ci, founded by Connected Places Catapult, Core Cities UK, London Councils, and supported by Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Local Government Association, is working to create new financial partnerships with fund managers and banks, so they can invest with confidence in local net zero projects. These include the retrofit of homes and commercial properties, the integration of renewable energy, shifts to sustainable transport networks, circular waste management, and the enhancement of green spaces and waterways. On the ground, 3Ci initiatives will bring business, finance, and local communities together to accelerate change through innovation that is fair to all.

3Ci will deliver the five actions that will build and shape a new market in local climate investment:

  • National net zero project pipeline – the development of a national register of local and regionally-led, bankable projects to deliver net zero outcomes.
  • Regional investor events – a series of events aimed at convening cities and local governments with investors to showcase opportunities, building mutual understanding and confidence.
  • Local integrated investment pilots – delivery of a programme of pilot projects which test and demonstrate a financing framework that allows different sectors to invest in the infrastructure our cities need in a profitable way with confidence.
  • Dissemination of local and regional innovations – the development of a national platform to share innovations rapidly in an easily accessible and standardised format.
  • National technical assistance programme – the creation of a development fund that invests in the necessary capacity and skills to bring projects forward for investment.

Over the next three months, 3Ci is running its first regional net zero investor events in Bristol, Glasgow, and Birmingham to help global investors and local governments meet in a single forum to unlock funding solutions that will transform communities to net zero. The opportunities forged will be scaled up to become substantial portfolios of green projects that will deliver commercial rates of return for finance and substantial benefits for communities and the environment.

Prof Greg Clark, Chair of 3Ci said:

“The switch to a net zero economy is the biggest change to our world since the Industrial Revolution. The net zero goal requires both an energy switch and an urban transition with changes in our homes, transport, buildings, utilities, and public spaces. Decarbonisation must not be mismanaged in the same ways that deindustrialisation occurred, where lack of investment and innovation saw the costs falling heavily upon certain regions and communities, taking 50 years to recover.”

Mayor Philip Glanville, Climate Change, Transport and Environment Lead at London Councils and Mayor of Hackney Council said:

“Cities and towns across the country have a huge responsibility as economic and population centres to create solutions to reach net zero targets. Securing private finance will be critical to meeting our climate ambitions.

Our collaboration through 3Ci shows our commitment to working with government and private investors, but also with people and communities who, through investment, will be able to make changes and play a part in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions.  

Together, we can create and champion solutions to embed urban green living in our communities, ensure the transition to a net zero economy is a just one, and create the skills and jobs our residents so desperately need.”

Cllr Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Core Cities said:

“We want businesses, investors, and community groups to join us in this exciting endeavour, which will realise the green jobs dividend, boost trade, accelerate enterprise and innovation, and grow the economy at a critical moment.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Leader of Essex County Council said:

“Local Government brings unique capabilities to this effort. Our services, our procurement, and our place leadership roles equip to be formidable partners with global investors. Together we can harness the collective resources of cities, regions and counties across the UK towards our shared common goal.”


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