Nation states pledge, but cities deliver
We recently attended the launch event for the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission (UK CCIC). Here are some of our takeaways...
Written by Joe Fuller
Core Cities, London Councils and the Connected Places Catapult have jointly established the UK CCIC, which will produce a report entitled ‘The Estimated Net Zero Investment Need for the UK’s Cities’ ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November.
The UK CCIC is “seeking to leverage the combined scale of cities to mobilise finance and drive investment into low and net zero carbon projects across all of the UK’s largest cities, rather than individual ones”.
What was said during the UK CCIC webinar?
There were some very interesting points made. Below, I’ll outline some key points from the speakers on 1st July…
Greg Clark CBE, Chair, Connected Places Catapult:
- The ‘Core Cities’ (Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield) represent around 43% of the UK’s population, and 50% of the UK’s GDP.
- By 2080, “of the ten billion people who are estimated to be living on the planet, 80% of them will be living in 10,000 cities. So there is no real alternative to well-run, low carbon cities”.
Cllr Susan Aitken, Leader, Glasgow City Council and UK CCIC Board member:
- The actions of cities will be crucial in reaching net zero. “Nation states pledge, but cities deliver”.
- Cities will need to “invest billions in unknown technologies” to hit their targets: Glasgow aims to reach net zero by 2030. Cllr Aitken pointed out the com website to find out more.
Niall Bolger, Chief Executive, London Borough of Hounslow and UK CCIC Steering Group member:
- The UK Government has set ambitious, world leading targets to tackle the climate emergency: 68% emissions reductions by 2030, 78% emissions reductions by 2035, Net zero emissions by 2050.
- The total UK city investment need is estimated between £112 billion to £334 billion.
Rachel Dickie, Executive Director, Grosvenor:
- Climate change is the “single biggest risk to our business, as well as society.”
- “The real estate sector has a huge part to play in reducing carbon emissions. What we build today is how we can start prompting change.”
- Historic buildings can play a leading role in the fight against climate change. “By retro fitting heritage buildings, we could cut operational carbon emissions nationwide by 5% (of the UK’s carbon emissions associated with buildings in 2019)”.
Shuen Chan, Head of ESG, Real Assets, Legal and General Investment Management:
- This is about more than just a decarbonisation story: it is an opportunity to invest in rebuilding and regenerating the UK landscape. “To engage with local communities and create place-based impact that serve all parts of the community”.
- “It is not just about COP, it is also about post-COP. COP will have lots of nice photo opportunities, but we need post-COP call-to-actions”.