Supporting states, cities and regions in developing area-wide carbon reduction strategies
For over ten years the Carbon Trust has been developing and fine tuning its approach to the delivery of significant carbon, resource and financial savings through transformational sustainable city strategies. Our vision is that of collaborative area-wide carbon reduction strategies led by city-governments or states, championed by the public sector, actively supported by the private sector and owned by the entire community. Smart cities must also be sustainable cities in order to prosper in the long term.
There are five key steps to our process:
Cities have a huge impact on carbon emissions, because of the numbers of people who live and work in them, and because of the example they can set. Proactive cities like London have demonstrated that where governing bodies use their influence imaginatively they can have a very significant effect on reducing city-wide carbon emissions, even beyond their spheres of direct control. The Low Carbon Cities Programme emulates and extends this approach, making it a model for all cities, towns, and indeed local authorities, to utilise.
Carbon Trust experience shows that key aspects of success for carbon reduction across cities and local authorities alike include:
Our Low Carbon Cities programme provides expert advice to core cities, regions and towns by providing inspiration and structure to assist the area partners through the process of achieving carbon and efficiency savings, while also promoting low carbon growth.
Key partners integral to the success of area-wide carbon reduction are the main public service and planning bodies (local government, NHS, universities), as well as other major influencers of city carbon emissions such as housing associations, large businesses and appropriate consumer, community, faith and voluntary groups. Regional governing bodies and energy suppliers are also critical for stakeholders to engage.
A clear area-wide carbon reduction strategy process is key to enabling the effective progression of collaborative opportunities that lie beyond the boundaries of organisational remits. Such opportunities may include developing shared goals between the key public sector components of a city or region, agreeing to governance arrangements and ownership, carrying out a carbon footprint for cities and regions to understand priorities, identifying key carbon saving options, developing a tailored and appropriately resourced action plan and then implementing that plan. The programme assists governments in meeting its commitment to engage with cities, states and municipalities and develops valuable lessons and tools to be disseminated to all cities and local authorities.
We have developed a 5 Step Low Carbon Cities Programme methodology. This approach builds on insight from the Carbon Trust’s Public Sector Carbon Management Programmes, which have enabled 600 public sector bodies to develop Carbon Reduction Strategies with, on average, 5 year CO2 reduction targets of 25%. The output is a prioritised carbon reduction action plan for city or regional level carbon reduction.
We support cities in developing strategies to deliver their targets. Those action plans use the following levers:
To develop an understanding of the low carbon projects and initiatives that are already taking place across cities, audits and interviews are carried out across all key sectors including healthcare, universities, regional government bodies, local government and the private sector. This is followed by an analysis of the performance of the organisations interviewed against the Carbon Trust's Carbon Reduction Matrix. Results define priority areas for implementation, along with an analysis of current hotspots for energy spend and carbon across a city or region.
Find out more about our work