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As world leaders prepare to visit Glasgow for the COP26 Climate Summit and ahead of a crucial Spending Review tomorrow (Wednesday), 36 of the UK’s major cities have come together  to call on Government to work with them to deliver a just transition to net zero.

The cities, represented by London Councils, Core Cities UK, and Key Cities, deliver more than 60% of the UK economy, but also generate a significant proportion of the UK’s carbon emissions.

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

“The key to tackling climate change – as we have seen in nations across the globe – is a strengthened partnership between national and local government, particularly with cities where the majority of carbon emissions originate. Nations must make commitments, but it is cities that have to deliver, to convene public agencies, business and communities, get buy-in from the public and deal with on the ground complexity that national governments are too distant from.

“Our networks have come together to tackle these issues bottom up, for example through our work on the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission which we will present at COP26. We are also engaging local residents, taking them with us on the journey toward Net Zero. But we can, and must, do more. We are willing to bring our political networks to the table, to collaborate across cities to achieve Net Zero and Green Growth, and urge Government to join in our partnership.”

Cllr Georgia Gould, Chair of London Councils, Leader Camden Borough Council, said:

“Working together across the UK’s major cities is critical in our efforts to tackle climate change. Lowering carbon emissions is essential if we are to make real and lasting change.  One of the ways we can achieve this is by better insulating and improving heating in millions of homes across the country. Not only would this decrease emissions, but it would create over 360,000 jobs and attract £87billion in investment.  We now need Government to step up and join us in taking on the scale the challenge.”

Cllr John Merry, Chair of the Key Cities and Deputy Mayor City of Salford said:

“Cities partnering in this way seems an obvious thing to do, and although there are many city networks within other countries, it is rare for them to work together in such a detailed way, to come up with very detailed plans and offer to deliver them jointly, setting aside individual ambitions in favour of the bigger picture. Climate change puts the future of human wellbeing at risk, as well as our economy and the livelihoods of local residents.

“Our partnership aims to turn that risk into an opportunity, for jobs, investment and to aid economic recovery, as we all look to move out of the pandemic. This is the moment to act together to deliver these benefits, yet much of the funding available asks all our places to compete, which is completely counter-productive, and reduces, not enhances innovation.  Instead, funding should incentivise collaboration, capturing and spreading good practice, buddying up cities with towns and other places, sharing cost benefits of joint procurement, contracting or legal costs.

“Doing so will strengthen our contribution to Levelling Up between and within places, putting Global Britain on the map as a leader, accelerating Net Zero and transitioning successfully to a Green Economy.”


For more information contact Will Mapplebeck, Public Affairs and Communications Manager Core Cities UK, 07932 568571. [email protected]


Notes to Editors

You can discover more about the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission here.