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UK Cities Climate Investment Commission

In our cities, we can pioneer new cycles of net-zero investment, bringing together revised urban utilities and infrastructure, with a new approach to the built environment, and an enabling environment that enables citizens to make easy low carbon choices. Leaders in local governments are among those taking action against the damaging impacts of climate change, including in cities. As a result of declarations of climate emergencies, local partnerships have been formed, identifying and implementing work programs. Integrating climate action into city economic recovery plans, in recognition that the green economy will produce some of the fastest results as well as long-term benefits.

In spite of this vibrant activity, local net zero programmes and interventions remain poorly developed from an investment perspective. Investment barriers do not arise from a lack of financing, but rather from a lack of business cases and investment models that address issues of scale, longevity, and confidence. As a result of dialogue with the investment community, it appears that such business cases will be strengthened where cities’ plans can be brought together, generating greater scale, volume, and predictability, thereby creating a more attractive and substantial proposition for investors.

Together with the London Councils and Connected Places Catapult, Core Cities has established the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission in order to address this deficit. Rather than focusing only on individual cities, we will leverage the combined scale of cities to mobilize finance and drive investment into low and net zero-carbon projects within all of the nation’s largest cities.

Research has been commissioned to assess and analyze the low carbon investments cities need, as well as the investment cases associated with this. A series of dissemination events with the findings of the report has now been conducted, along with the publication of the findings. We hope that as a result of this work, we will be able to;

  • Assist UK cities in reducing their carbon emissions, and develop a deeper understanding of the low carbon investment opportunities and challenges faced by UK cities.
  • Increase the confidence of the investment community in low-carbon projects by leveraging the benefits of scale offered by city networks instead of an individual city.
  • The engagement of industry with low carbon technologies can provide a basis for the supply and deployment of low carbon technologies in the marketplace.
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