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Cities Policy

The Climate Emergency

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Our Climate Emergency priorities

  • Championing city-led decarbonisation of key sectors across council services and beyond.
  • Establishing renewable energy initiatives including onshore wind farms, solar panel farms, energy storage solutions, and long-term net-zero energy grid initiatives.
  • Facilitating full electrification of surface transport and lobbying for dedicated funding to ensure transport decarbonisation is shared evenly across Local Government.
  • Introducing urban greening across Key Cities’ communities including the preservation of natural spaces, urban on-street canopy cover, roof gardens and wetlands in development.

As one of the biggest contributors to climate change, producing over than 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions, cities must play a leading role in our fight against climate change. Cities are also more likely to suffer from the consequences of climate change. High temperatures, sea level rise, and extreme weather are all felt more acutely in urban areas.

Key Cities are key part of unlocking some of the answers to the climate emergency across the UK. As of November 2021, all 25 members of Key Cities showed local leadership by declaring climate emergencies, and adopting ambitious decarbonisation plans with net zero targets set as early as 2030. Our commitment to net-zero is embedded across all our responsibilities for infrastructure, economic growth, retrofitting, roles in waste and recycling, and providing green spaces.

In September 2021, Key Cities issued a survey to discover what initiatives member councils were already developing on climate change and what the barriers were stopping them from achieving more. Across the responses received, Key Cities demonstrated how they’re at the forefront of driving innovation through their respective economies and supply chains, in everything from a Fleet electrification programme to the development of award winning Passivhaus council housing.

We also strive to maximise our influence over our local communities; encouraging and enabling wider changes among local residents and businesses to reduce emissions, through local authorities’ investment and procurement decisions, planning responsibilities, and direct engagement with local people.

Especially in light of the COVID pandemic, the economic and environmental crisis we face opens up opportunities to build a Green Recovery which truly tackles the underlying dysfunctions at the heart of our local economic model.

Portfolio Lead

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