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Core Cities UK is playing a leading role in a new Commission which will begin the process of identifying a transformational programme of Green Growth for the UK’s cities.

Initial analysis of UK city climate plans by the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission 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 plus innovation body Connected Places Catapult launched the Commission during an event at London Climate Action Week.

It marked 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 UKs core cities.

The Commission believes 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, 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.