These interventions are often highlighted to be the most impactful for cities in terms of carbon reduction and return on investment, as well as falling within the legislative and regulatory control of local government. Local interventions in industries of cargo transportation, aviation, agriculture and/or industrial processes are usually ignored, although they are also major contributors to carbon emissions. There are a multitude of reasons as to why:
- First, the management of these industries usually do not directly fall under the regulatory and legislative responsibility of councils but are regulated instead by national and regional legislation.
- Second, these industries include a complex network of stakeholders, lobbyists and interest groups making reform much more difficult and slow.
- Lastly, more often than not, councils lack the means and tools to measure, monitor and deal with the carbon emitted by these sectors. This is partly due to the lack of accessible and standardised data and because of the difficulty to assess cross-boundary carbon emissions, i.e. the product, process or land used within these industries are usually not self-contained within one specific jurisdiction.
Our Vision & Approach to Net Zero
Our mission at Connected Places Catapult is to drive UK leadership to meet Net Zero targets, promoting sustained economic growth and wellbeing through integrated, efficient and sustainable technologies with a seamless approach. At Connected Places Catapult, we use our market-neutral position and domain expertise in the user-led and built-environment research to accelerate the UK’s transition to Net Zero emissions by, or even before, 2050. We combine a human-centred design approach, data science and technical domain knowledge to be problem-led and human-centric to de-risk innovation and lower barriers to adoption of new innovations and technologies towards the Net Zero journey. Today, we are currently partnering with Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) and the City of Glasgow (Scotland, UK), where we aim to:
- Map Glasgow’s policies, plans and initiatives relevant to carbon emissions.
- Review and synthesize these plans (e.g. transport, energy use, development)
- Undertake a gap analysis and identify potential obstacles.
- Map out relevant stakeholders involved with this transition strategy and devise recommendations to maximise collaboration and partnerships across sectors, level of government and legislative boundaries.
- Provide Glasgow with a robust plan and an effective approach to support and drive the achievement of Net Zero across energy, land-use and transport planning.
- And launch this exemplary approach as part of the COP26 preparatory events will highlight Glasgow as a pioneer and leader of Net Zero planning.
All the above will allow Glasgow City Council to make sure their policy landscape, procurement strategy and standards are all correctly set up to reach their net-zero target by 2030.
These actions above are easy steps for any local governments to address carbon neutrality within their legislative boundaries. Although we know the resource strain and piling responsibility local governments have, we believe councils must act and play a central role in tackling all sources of carbon emissions in the UK. What can they do to champion and advance net-zero? What is the logical road map? We invite councils and partners to email us if they want to find out more about our work and/or ways they could themselves advance carbon neutrality.