Supporting the delivery of Net Zero – free online courses for local authorities and public servants

Public Servants and Climate Change: Reaching Net Zero will support local authority colleagues to overcome the challenges to transitioning to net zero. Foundations of Delivery will enable learners to enhance delivery and performance measurement. The courses are fully funded by 3Ci.

Via this partnership, learners can expect a world-class education experience that is backed by the latest research and expertise. These courses provide an excellent opportunity to upskill your knowledge on net zero strategy and play a critical role in achieving our national net zero targets. 

We invite you to apply for our courses based on your potential to make a positive impact in your community. Places are limited.  

Public Servants and Climate Change: Reaching Net Zero (10 places) 

Co-developed with Apolitical, Oxford Net Zero and Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE) at the University of Oxford, this course provides a comprehensive overview of net zero, including its challenges and exploring how to promote the transition to net zero. In this course, you’ll explore the science underpinning net zero and engage with policies designed to reach it.  

By the end of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Evaluate and critique a climate change memo to more clearly and comprehensively explain the science of climate change. 
  • Investigate and analyse a climate action plan. 
  • Evaluate the role of public servants in driving net zero. 

Estimated learning time: 10 hours  

Dates: 29 May 2023 – 1 July 2023 

Apply by 5 May 2023.

Foundations of delivery (10 places) 

Co-developed with expert partner Delivery Associates, this course focuses on delivery and related performance measurement. This course will support you in understanding of the fundamental principles and processes which underpin delivery in government, such as prioritising goals, assessing organisational capacity, developing and managing effective implementation plans, and cultivating a culture of delivery. 

By the end of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Examine key factors required to build a foundation for delivery 
  • Understand the delivery challenge 
  • Plan for delivery 
  • Develop routines to drive delivery 
  • Learn how to manage stakeholder relationships during the delivery process 

Estimated learning time: 11 hours 

Dates: 29 May 2023 – 1 July 2023 

Apply by 5 May 2023.

The criteria for selection for the courses will be based on ensuring regional representation and relevance to the applicant’s day-to-day job. No prior qualifications are required.  

These courses are 3Ci’s first offering to upskill local authorities in net zero strategy, and they will inform greater work from 3Ci to accelerate capacity building and skills development to deliver net zero commitments. Contact us to find out more about how 3Ci can support your transition to net zero.

City leaders, parliamentarians and investors convene for debate on unlocking net zero cities and scaling green growth

The debate was chaired by Rt Hon. the Baroness Hayman GBE, joined by Lord Martin Callanan, the Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, Lord Larry Whitty, Peers for the Planet; Kerry McCarthy MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change; and London’s Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, alongside representatives from HSBC, Aviva, BlackRock and KPMG. The roundtable brought together parliamentarians, place leaders and green finance specialists to explore how local action and private investment can combine so that real change can be achieved to transform communities to a net zero future.

The reception that followed, hosted by Baroness Hayman, also featured presentations from Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero; Prof Greg Clark CBE, Chair, 3Ci; Alex Sobel MP, Chair of the Net Zero APPG; and Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool.

Prof Greg Clark CBE, Chair at 3Ci said:

“The discussion confirmed three important points for me. Firstly, the UK has the combination of innovation and strong place leadership needed to deliver net zero but is currently unable to meet the cost of doing so. Secondly, major private investors want to enter this space, but struggle to find an investment pipeline that meets their needs. And thirdly, that local authorities do have project pipelines, but often lack the capacity to bring them up to investment grade.

“3Ci’s programme, which now has support across the UK local government family and from many major investors, is designed to tackle exactly these issues. Since its inception at COP26 3Ci has created a unique platform between place leaders and major investors, built a financial model capable of meeting the needs of both, and created an investment pipeline of 1,000 projects worth £60billion. The debate provided some fresh thinking for the work of 3Ci, which we will take away and include in our benefits package for localities which we are rolling out across this year.”

Prof Greg Clark CBE, Chair at 3Ci speaking at the Unlocking Net Zero Parliamentary reception

Rt Hon. the Baroness Hayman GBE added,

“I was delighted to Chair the joint 3Ci and Net Zero APPG roundtable and reception to hear from leading figures across finance, local government and business about their ideas for unlocking the potential of our cities, towns and regions to deliver green growth. We know that the transition to net zero cannot be delivered from Westminster and Whitehall alone – it will require innovation, collaboration and strong leadership at the local level in order to deliver this new era of opportunity for our communities.”

Rt Hon. the Baroness Hayman GBE

3Ci welcomes findings of Chris Skidmore MP’s ‘Mission Zero’ Report

3Ci’s Chair, Professor Greg Clark CBE, said:

‘Mission Zero is a welcome and powerful contribution to the Net Zero debate at a critical moment in time.  The report’s increased focus on the economic benefits of Net Zero, and the scaling up of green finance activity is much needed. 

‘I particularly welcome the report’s acknowledgement the vital role of local authorities in getting to Net Zero.  The role of nations in setting targets and providing the means to achieve them is vital.  But increasingly, climate change is simply too complex to solve at the national level alone, and success will come only by partnering with place leadership working in tandem with the custodians of major financial institutions, which is exactly the model 3Ci has developed.  I look forward to working with Chris and 3Ci’s other partners in making these ambitions a reality.’

The 3Ci team engaged with Chris Skidmore MP during the review that led to this report and made a written submission, as did many of 3Ci’s stakeholders across local government and the private sector, including UK100 who have been instrumental in championing the role of local authorities.

The essence of 3Ci’s submission is that paying for Net Zero is beyond the ability of the public purse alone, and the UK needs a new, innovative financial solution to attract additional private investment into Net Zero projects that will also boost jobs and growth. 

3Ci has developed exactly such a model, working with representatives across the whole UK local government family (counties districts and towns as well as cities), alongside major investors, banks and other financial institutions, who all back 3Ci’s approach.  3Ci has also had the support and financial backing of Government through the Department for Business, Energy, Innovation and Skills in developing the detail of its model.

Prof Greg Clark CBE appointed Chair of 3Ci

3Ci was founded by the Connected Places Catapult, London Councils and Core Cities UK. Greg initially held the position on an interim basis since the commission was launched at COP in Glasgow in October 2021.

3Ci works to build innovative financial partnerships between Urban Investors and City Leaders. The aim is to accelerate Net Zero investment across the UK and build stronger partnerships between these sectors, which will:

  • deliver a £200billion-plus Net Zero investment dividend for the UK;
  • significantly reduce energy usage, fuel poverty and emissions, supporting a Just Transition;
  • boost UK economic growth and productivity, creating many thousands of jobs;
  • increase adult skills-levels, strengthening the labour market for the future; and
  • firmly position the UK as a global leader in delivering Net Zero financing solutions.

3Ci is creating a broad partnership, including UK Government, Innovate UK, Metro Mayors, Combined Authorities, Scottish and Key Cities, Counties and Districts and a growing league of private investors, financiers, advisors, developers and built environment technology professionals.

3Ci offers a platform for a single conversation on issues relating to Net Zero financing across the UK.  As well as our founding partners, Innovate UK are providing core funding for our work and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is providing programme support.

Launched at COP26 in Glasgow, one of our partner cities, 3Ci quickly gained the backing of senior national and global investors.  It has engaged and has support from HSBC, NatWest, Lloyds, UK Infrastructure Bank, Scottish National Investment Bank, Aviva, Legal and General, Siemens, Arup and Jacobs.

3Ci has powerfully brought together place-leadership with the custodians of financial institutions to create a practical solution to a shared challenge. 3Ci’s partnership combines an innovative financing model with local convening powers, access to investment, technical assistance and ready to go projects to deliver it’s aims, in a way that will also take communities on this journey. 

3Ci has now developed activities around five practical domains for partnership between Urban Investors and City Leaders.

  1. National Net Zero Project Pipeline – Development of a national register of local and regionally led bankable projects, articulated to a common and combinable format, to deliver net zero outcomes.
  2. Regional Investor Events – Series of events aimed at convening cities and local governments with investors to showcase opportunities, building mutual understanding and confidence.
  3. Local Integrated Investment Pilots – A programme of geographically diverse pilots which test and demonstrate the delivery of integrated local investment model that aggregates different domains and sectors to optimise co-benefits and facilitate cross-investment.
  4. Dissemination of local and regional innovations – Development of a national platform to share innovations rapidly in an easily accessible and standardised format.
  5. National Technical Assistance Programme – Creation of a development fund that invests in the necessary capacity and skills to bring projects forward for investment.

Greg Clark brings a wealth of experience to the role, and has broad experience with both devolved government and investment finance. He is chair of Connected Places Catapult. He was previously chair of the OECD Forum of Cities and Regions, British BIDs, the JLL Cities Research Centre, and the UK Innovation Corridor. He has advised the World Bank, European Investment Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank on Sustainable Urban Investment. He was recently Global Head and Group Advisor for Future Cities & New Industries at HSBC Group.

He is currently a member of the board of Transport for London and chairs of their Land & Property Committee. He is member of the World Economic Forum Future Council on Cities & Urbanisation, and the Cities Council of Bloomberg New Economy Forum. Greg also chairs the UK Government’s external advisory board on Secure Connected Places.

3Ci continues to grow in influence under Greg’s leadership and has recently hosted a major Net Zero Investment Summit bringing together investors, local authorities and others to help shape bankable, net zero projects.

Commenting on the appointment, Mayor of Bristol, chair of Core Cities, and member of the appointment panel, Marvin Rees said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have appointed someone of Greg’s calibre. He brings an immense depth of knowledge on how cities function and work along with their investment requirements. As city leaders we look forward to working with Greg on the next stage of 3Ci’s journey as we work to secure some £330 billion of investment for cities around the UK.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Leader of Essex County Council added,

“Counties and Cities are in the climate challenge together and our work with the private sector through 3Ci is critical to accelerating investment. We are delighted to have Greg Clark as our chair.”

Cllr Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council said,

“We need a permanent partnership between city leaders and urban investors if our climate ambitions are to be fully realised. Glasgow and Scottish Cities are fully committed to working with 3Ci to help achieve the investment needed. We are delighted to have Greg Clark to chair this important partnership.”

Nicola Yates, CEO of Connected Places Catapult added,

“Since Connected Places Catapult, London Councils and Core Cities joined forces to create 3Ci, the Commission has gone from strength to strength. I’ve been proud to witness 3Ci grow into a wider partnership, united around helping cities to shape bankable, net zero projects. The initiative now also includes the UK Government, Innovate UK, Metro Mayors, Combined Authorities, Scottish and Key Cities, Counties and Districts, plus a growing league of private investors, financiers, advisors, developers and built environment technology professionals.

“At its heart, 3Ci’s unique model aggregates demand and fosters innovation in ways which will help drive UK enterprises and exports. We are delighted that our chair, Greg Clark, will chair the partnership on a long-term basis.”

Prof Greg Clark CBE added,

“3Ci has a vital mission to ensure that urban investment plays a key role in delivering the UK’s ambitious net zero commitment, city by city and neighbourhood by neighbourhood. That means we need a credible platform to connect and partner city leaders with urban investors. I’m proud to be continuing my work with the commission on a long term basis, and look forward to playing my part in helping cities attract investment to tackle the climate crisis.”

3Ci’s next event, Regional Net Zero Investment Forum – Glasgow, will take place on 22 November. Find out more and register here.

Delivering the green transition: 3Ci members lead the way

“Climate positive places are already here – they’re just not evenly distributed”.

Learn how places are delivering inspiring projects to meet ambitious net zero pledges. 3ci provides a springboard to unlock investment to replicate these across the UK and help win the race to zero emissions.

Cities are home to more than half the world’s population and produce 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing these to net zero is critical. The technical solutions are largely known – and as this article demonstrates, have been successfully financed and implemented in a range of places.

Hackney’s foot on the electric accelerator

The UK is aiming for 55% of vehicles on its roads to be electric by 2032. Hackney plans to smash that target, looking for 90% uptake by 2030. This will be facilitated by a rapid roll out of EV charge points from around 300 council owned points today to 3000 (at least one per estate) by 2030.  

The charge points, which will be powered from 100% renewable sources, which will in some cases be locally generated, will also be sustainable in another sense: they are projected to raise more than £9 million in income for the council.  

Supporting private electric vehicle uptake is just one part of Hackney’s overall strategy to reduce transport-related emissions. Other elements include: 

  • supporting a reduction in vehicle ownership and vehicle miles driven  
  • supporting active travel 
  • electrifying the council’s own fleet of vehicles.  

Councillor Mete Coban MBE, cabinet member for energy, waste, transport and public realm, said:

“These new charging points will help reduce the concerns some people have about switching to an electric vehicle. 

“In turn this will benefit all of our residents as it will help enhance the borough’s air quality 

“While encouraging more people to switch to an electric vehicle, if we are going to make Hackney an even better place to live and work we also must continue looking at schemes to drive an overall reduction in vehicle ownership. 

“This is where initiatives such as School Streets and low traffic neighbourhoods – supporting us all to walk, cycle and use public transport locally – play a key role.” 

Find out more:

Belfast’s incubation of green maritime innovation

While CO2 makes the headlines, sulphur and nitrous oxides can also contribute to the acceleration of global warming. Shipping produces around 14% of these gases which are also the main drivers of acid rain, with 30% of these emissions created by domestic voyages. If nothing changes, maritime emissions could increase by as much as 250% by 2050. 

We need new, low-emission ways of moving goods and people across our oceans and waterways. Belfast’s thriving innovation economy – centred around its Titanic quarter – is helping invent them. Artemis Technologies has just launched the world’s first 100% electric foiling workboat, and is now leading the Belfast Maritime Consortium in developing a high-speed zero emission electric hydrofoil ferry.  

The first vessel will launch as a pilot ferry service between Bangor and Belfast as early as 2024. The speed of this development highlights the advantages of bringing together place leaders, investors and inventors into dedicated hubs of innovation.

Clare Guinness, Belfast Innovation District Director commented:

“Belfast, a shining example of strength of place, has a long-standing reputation for punching above its weight when it comes to innovation and shaping the upward trajectory of global sectors such as FinTech, RegTech, cyber security, transport, aerospace, and advanced manufacturing.  

“With the talents of Artemis Technologies, an anchor tenant in Belfast’s thriving Innovation District, and its revolutionary range of green sea vessels, the city is once again set to be at the forefront of global change, and we couldn’t be prouder. 

“Artemis is combining our city’s rich maritime heritage and indigenous skillset with its transformative technology to, not only herald a new era of sustainable shipbuilding for Belfast, but to the lead UK’s charge towards Net Zero, spearhead the Green Industrial Revolution, and transform the maritime industry on a global scale – a true testament to the power of place-based innovation and collaboration.” 

Find out more:

Bristol’s solar-powered stadium

With the energy bills on the rise and no price-cap in place for commercial users, switching to solar is now an obvious choice. Both bills and emissions reduce.

Bristol City Council are leaders in this space, having initially started working on renewable initiatives in 2005. They have installed 2MW across 70 commercial roofs across the city – all paid for through public borrowing and therefore requiring a robust return on investment.

In 2016, Bristol’s Ashton Gate stadium was fitted with enough solar panels to power 23 average sized homes. CO2 emissions were reduced by 20% the panels are projected to save £150,000 in energy costs over their lifetime.

The council continues to make progress in this space through developing viable financial models for scale up.

Richard Lowe, Investment Programme Manager at Bristol City Council Energy Service explains:

“We are currently developing a viable package of solar PV installations on schools and academies based on collecting income from selling the solar energy to the building users through a Power Purchase Agreement, with paybacks of between 10 to 15 years.”

Find out more:

West Midlands – reducing fuel poverty and emissions through retrofit

A Birmingham couple reduced their household fuel bills by more than £1000 per year. The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) are helping hundreds of households emulate them through a wide ranging set of initiatives to support retrofit. Put simply, retrofitting means making existing properties more energy efficient through insulation, low carbon heating and installing solar panels.

Extensive retrofit is needed to reach net zero because 27% of the UK’s emissions come from buildings – and the majority of those from housing. We can’t simply build greener homes because most of our current housing stock will continue to be in use in 2050.

WMCA is tackling this challenge on multiple fronts:

  • tapping into grants like the Social Housing Decarbonisation fund and topping up from its own budget
  • working with the Retrofit Academy to build the necessary skills in the region
  • coordinating an energy-performance assessment for all properties in the area to encourage market-led investment

Find out more:

Glasgow’s “Greenprint” for investment

With a punchy carbon neutral target date of 2030, Glasgow recognised a need to bring in private investment to speed up its transition. It launched its ‘Greenprint’ prospectus in September last year in the run up to COP26. The prospectus showcases opportunities for private investors to contribute to a range of initiatives across the climate action spectrum. For example:

  • £10 billion home retrofit programme
  • £500 million plan to make Glasgow Innovation District climate neutral and resilient
  • Planting 18 million trees in Clyde Climate Forest

With investor incentives ranging from funding for recruitment and rental costs through to partner match-making and aftercare, the Greenprint offers large investors a low-friction way of adding climate-positive elements to their portfolios.

Find out more:

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.”

UK Core Cities and London Represent Half a Trillion-Pound Investment Opportunity

A new report for the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission (UKCCIC) launched today (Thursday) calls for ‘place-based demonstrators’ or neighbourhood pilots where green investment opportunities can be gathered together as a package, stating that this will attract returns in the form of savings, additional revenue streams and other social and environmental benefits.

The UKCCIC is a partnership between Connected Places Catapult, Core Cities UK and London Councils and aims to explore new ways of helping UK cities reach their net zero targets. Together London Councils and the Core Cities represent almost half of the UK population.

The report will now be showcased to international investors at an event in the Blue Zone of COP 26 in Glasgow on 3rd of November featuring local and international politicians.

It also outlines other investment opportunities including commercial and domestic building decarbonisation and green transport, but states that renewable electricity generation is likely the most attractive opportunity for investors.

The report adds that the total costs of getting London and the Core Cities to net zero could top £200bn, a figure that would be impossible to raise without private sector investment.

The report says that investing in renewable electricity generation across UK urban areas – including solar and battery storage – could provide fiscal returns for big financial players including pension companies and sovereign wealth funds.

Cllr Nick Forbes, Chair of Core Cities UK and Leader of Newcastle City Council said:

“This report underlines the scale of the investment potential across our 11 Core Cities and London, and the essential role that private finance can play to support the transition to net zero

“Life for many of our 30 million citizens will change dramatically over the next few years. It is our job to map out the path to net zero, and to then work with private finance to lead our cities on that journey, ensuring everyone benefits from a greener, healthier future.”

Professor Greg Clark, Chair of Connected Places Catapult said:

“The UKCCIC will accelerate opportunities for public and private investment in net zero transitions for UK cities by making the investment case and combined scale of opportunity clearer and more bankable.”

Mayor Philip Glanville, Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, said:

“London boroughs and the UK’s 11 Core Cities 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 and today’s report outlines the substantial opportunities available to invest in and be part of our net zero journey.

“This commission highlights the need to work 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 and supporting a green economic recovery.

“We’re excited about securing investment for the neighbourhood pilots outlined in the report, which will enable us to connect climate action, improving public health, reducing inequalities and supporting a just transition that can also address issues like fuel poverty and the cost of living crisis.”

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environmental Services Committee, Keith Bottomley, said:

“With COP26 just weeks away, there is now real momentum in the UK and across the world to take positive, radical action to address the climate crisis which threatens us all. In the City we’re committed to working towards a net zero Square Mile by 2040, but private sector investment is crucial in enabling the rest of the country to reach net zero status.”

Read the final stage UK Cities Climate Investment Commission report below.

UK Cities Climate Investment Commission Launch

Connected Places Catapult (CPC), in collaboration with UK Core Cities, and London Councils, has commissioned this piece of work to assess the Net Zero investment opportunity in UK Cities.

Eunomia Research and Consulting, and Bankers without Boundaries (BwB), have collaborated to deliver this assessment.

These Stage 1 findings are intended to present the scale of investment required to achieve Net Zero across these cities. Stage 2 of this research will assess the associated opportunities for return on investment, and necessary actions to enable finance to flow into Net Zero infrastructure.

More information on the national scale of requirements to meet Net Zero can be found in the Climate Change Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget report, which can be found here:

Watch the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission Launch event

This event brought together a broad spectrum of high-level stakeholders with a stake in net zero from government, international organisations, the investment community, business, academia, media, and NGOs to officially launch the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission (UK CCIC) and present early-stage findings of ‘The Estimated Net Zero Investment Need for the UK’s Cities’ report which the UK CCIC commissioned in the run-up to COP26.

UK Cities Climate Investment Commission launched to identify Green Investment opportunities in the UK

Cities, investment and innovation experts have today (Thursday July 1st) launched a Commission which begins the process of identifying a transformational programme of Green Growth for the UK’s cities.

Initial analysis by the Commission of UK city climate plans suggests that meeting Net Zero in London and the UK’s Core Cities could bring up to £330bn of investment into the UK. 

London Councils and the UK’s 11 Core Cities along with the innovation body Connected Places Catapult will launch the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission during an event at London Climate Action Week.

The Commission marks its launch 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 believes that this may represent 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, whilst 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.

The report also sets out a range of financing sources currently being considered by local government, such as municipal community investment bonds, carbon offsetting payments, workplace parking levies and collection charges for contaminated recycling. 

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 say they face a funding emergency as well as a climate emergency. This underscores the importance of the forthcoming work, and the engagement of government in this endeavour.

The commission will now go on to identify the investment opportunities in detail in a final report that will be showcased to national and international investors attending COP26, the historic climate summit due to be held in November in Glasgow.

Cllr Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, who will speak at today’s launch, said:

“Today’s first stage launch reveals massive opportunities to create green growth and thousands of jobs across London and the Core Cities. 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.”

Mayor Philip Glanville, Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, said:

“London boroughs and the UK’s 11 Core Cities have a huge responsibility as economic and population centres to create solutions to reach Net Zero targets. Securing private finance is going to be critical in meeting our climate ambitions and today’s launch is a momentous step towards achieving this.

“Low carbon investment in our cities will allow us to secure a wide range of benefits, not only lowering emissions but improving public health and reducing inequalities. We want this work to be an example for effective investment in further UK cities and towns in the future.

“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.”

Prof Greg Clark CBE, Chair of Connected Places Catapult, said:

“Connected Places Catapult is proud to work alongside the UK Core Cities and London Councils to launch this UK Cities Climate Investment Commission. We are showcasing the first stage of a report which outlines the estimated investment required for UK cities to reach net zero, with the full report released at COP26 in November.

“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. 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.”

Further detail about the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission can be found here


Get the latest news delivered to your inbox