Group of cyclists wearing helmets and bright clothing riding on a city street alongside a blue bus. Some cyclists have child seats attached to their bicycles.

UK Cities Climate Investment Commission II: Decarbonising Transport

In this episode we take a look at transport, which contributes almost a quarter (22%) of the UK’s green house gas emissions.

How can cities strengthen their business cases for net zero investment? And if their plans are brought together and aligned in a new and creative ways, could they generate greater scale, volume and predictability in ways that might make them more attractive to investors?

To answer these and other questions, the Connected Places Catapult has teamed up with the UK’s Core Cities and London Councils to create the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission. The aim is to the leverage the combined scale and clout of the UK’s cities to mobilise investment into low and net-zero carbon projects across all of the UK’s largest cities, not just individual ones.

As an initial step we have commissioned research to assess and analyse the low carbon investment that cities need, and the associated investment cases. The findings of the report will be launched at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow and will look at the following sectors; commercial and industrial property, waste and electricity generation, and transport.

In this episode we take a look at transport, which contributes almost a quarter (22%) of the UK’s green house gas emissions. There are of course different modes of transport – cars, buses, lorries, trains – and they each contribute emissions in different ways too. In a UK context you also have to bear in mind that local authorities have limited impact on most of those modes, and zero impact on some.

So the Commission has been focussing on where councils can have the most impact through policy and investment:

  • Reducing the need to travel
  • Increasing the use of public transport
  • Increasing the uptake of active travel – walking, cycling
  • Converting from fossil fuelled to electrified forms of transport

Prof. Greg Clark, who chairs the Commission, speaks to Cllr Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council about what this looks like from the perspective of one of the UK’s core cities. We also meet Andrea Fernandez, Managing Director of C40 Cities Climate Leadership and specialist in climate finance in cities, as well as Asif Ghafoor, CEO of Iduna, a company playing a leading role in Greater Manchester’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Music on this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions and Phill Ward Music (

Show notes

To read the Joint Declaration of the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission on our website. You can also watch a recording of the launch of the Commission, which was held on 1st July, which included a presentation on the initial findings of the research report.

To read and download the Catapult’s Net Zero Places Innovation Brief, which explores a number of new market opportunities in the active travel sector, click here.

To register for our Pathway to Net Zero Investment event on the 21st October, where the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission will be presenting its findings, click here.

You can also learn more about the organisations featured on this episode;

  • Iduna – a UK infrastructure company specialising in mobility, telecoms and energy.
  • Be. EV. – Iduna’s electric vehicle charging company which operates Greater Manchester’s largest EV charging network.
  • C40 Cities – a network of 100 megacities committed to addressing climate change.
  • City of Glasgow’s plans to host the UN’s COP26 Climate Summit from 31 October – 12 November 2021.

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