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

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 launched to identify Green Investment opportunities in the UK

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


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