ECCI is helping to deliver a new initiative to boost climate action in Edinburgh, Belfast and Leeds. The Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN) will help the UK meet its climate targets by catalysing cross-sector action and increasing the flow of green finance.
The ESRC is investing £3.5 million in PCAN over five years. The project will link research, business, government and communities to accelerate the transition to a fair, thriving low carbon economy. The Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds, the London School of Economics and Queen’s University Belfast are hosting the project.
PCAN will build on model of public, private and third sector partnership working developed in Leeds by Professor Andy Gouldson. Professor Gouldson has extensively researched the economics of low carbon cities, demonstrating huge opportunities to cut energy bills and emissions.
Professor Gouldson said: “There is a massive opportunity for climate action in the UK’s cities and towns.
“But we need to build capacities to take these opportunities by bringing different actors together and by linking innovative projects and programmes to new sources of finance.
“All of the evidence shows that doing this will help cities and towns to contribute more to the climate challenge, but that it can also help to deliver a wide range of other social and economic benefits.”
PCAN will also:
- Accelerate and sustain the transition to a low carbon, climate resilient society through the creation of local climate commissions in Edinburgh and Belfast and the extension of the Leeds Climate Commission
- Develop the capacity of cities across the UK to develop investable projects and access finance
- Operate an innovation fund that will provide small grants for early career climate and energy researchers
- Seek to influence decisions on climate change and the low carbon energy transition at a local and national level
- Feed into policies such as the Government’s Industrial Strategy and the UK Clean Growth Strategy
- Work closely with the Financing a Just Transition programme, created to identify the role that finance can play in connecting action on climate change with inclusive development pathways.
Professor Simon Kelley, Head of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, said: “Edinburgh City Council is developing its longer term vision for a vibrant, green and prosperous city through its City Vision 2050.
“The Climate and Energy Commission created through this project will help the city make those plans real – engaging people across Edinburgh in delivering a fair and equitable transformation in our energy and finances to meet the challenge of climate change.
“The University, through our climate impact hub the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, is looking forward to working with government, business and the third sector to accelerate our transition to a thriving low carbon future.”
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