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.
To date we have worked with public sector bodies spanning Europe, Latin America and Asia to develop tailored plans that reflect local conditions, and to communicate those plans to diverse audiences.
Our experience show that key aspects of success for carbon reduction across cities and local authorities include:
Cities have a vital role to play in leading the low carbon transition: they consume over two-thirds of the world's energy, and are responsible for as much as 70% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
On top of this, cities are highly visible spaces - often being looked to for leadership - and are rapidly growing. This growth, to 66% of the global population by 2050, raises questions over future consumption and emissions, but also reinforces our belief that cities must be at the forefront of change.
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.
Through Low Carbon Cities and Regions, we provide expert advice to cities, states, 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.
We achieve these aims through our five-step methodology, developed to guide local, regional and national governments to successful outcomes. This process is personalised and moulded to fit the specific context of each city or region, maximising its utility in guiding effective sustainable planning.
The outcomes of the methodology are designed to be practical; addressing and overcoming the common challenges - encountered through our considerable project experience - city government’s face when implementing sustainable measures.
“This has given us a clear step-by-step pathway for our large and complex state government organization. The purpose-designed methodology and tools are helping us to make a high level (and sometimes abstract) carbon reductions target credible and achievable”
Project Leader, Jalisco State Government
Key partners integral to the success of area-wide carbon reduction are the main public service and planning bodies (such as local government, regional governing bodies, the NHS and universities), and other major influencers, such as housing associations, large businesses, energy suppliers and consumer, community, faith and voluntary groups.
A clear process for strategic engagement with stakeholders enables the effective progression of collaborative opportunities that lie beyond the boundaries of organisational remits. Such opportunities may include:
Low Carbon Cities and Regions assists governments in meeting their responsibility to engage with cities, states and municipalities, whilst developing valuable lessons and tools to be disseminated to all cities and local authorities worldwide.
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, and are accompanied by an energy or carbon hotspot analysis across the city or region.
In addition to undertaking analysis on behalf of cities, we work to build capacities within the public sector, supporting them in taking their own initiatives forward. We recognise that in order for change to take root in our cities, states, and regions, organisations need the skills, abilities, and resources to take their own steps.
Our past experience in building capacities has focused on strengthening the institutional resources of our partners, including schools, local authorities, fire and police services, universities, and local governments.
We have guided our partners through carbon management planning, allowing them to develop and progress their strategy themselves. Additionally, we have undertaken a number of workshops and training exercises supporting the transition to a low carbon economy.
We help sub-national governments understand the different low carbon policy options available to them to facilitate low carbon pathways within their jurisdiction.
Having been trusted advisors to the UK government for over 15 years, we have helped to shape innovative policy solutions, from the Green Investment Bank and contributions to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, to influencing the UK’s renewable energy incentive mechanism.
Since 2011, we have broadened our advice to international governments, agencies and multilateral development banks (MDBs) across the EU, Central and Latin America, Africa, China and South East Asia. We have our own experts based in regional offices, complemented by a network of local, trusted partners.
We provide expert advice on technologies and low carbon priorities that are particularly relevant for cities, including the following: