Leveraging UK expertise to address Net Zero challenges in Latin America

The last 5 years have seen cities become decisive drivers and venues of innovation in pursuit of Net Zero and clean growth around the world, including Latin America. Cities are now recognised as the dense concentrations of people, assets and systems where it is possible to enact transformations at scale and achieve essential economic and social outcomes at the same time as targeting climate change. The quest for a green recovery from Covid-19, coinciding with COP26, is adding stimulus to more cities to translate Net Zero pledges, plans and ambitions into real world action. 

Connected Places Catapult has partnered with Innovate UK, and the FCDO in Colombia and Chile with the aim to identify local challenges on the Net Zero agenda and increase the knowledge of UK stakeholders on the opportunities to work in Pacific Alliance and further Latin American cities in order to accelerate the commercialisation of smart cities and transport innovations with a focus on decarbonisation and promotion of global partnerships in these sectors. 

To achieve this, the project exploited the Connected Places Catapult’s City Typologies tool and has undertaken associated desk research and Interviews, to deliver valuable insights on the net zero challenges faced by the region. 

By combining insights from global datasets, local strategies, and direct interaction via expert consultations and a webinar with key stakeholders in Pacific Alliance cities, this project provided a first-of-its-kind review of the opportunities for the UK to partner with Latin American cities on their journey to net zero. 

This project was a pioneer in reviewing   the challenges Latin American cities face in their journey to net zero. It has also assessed the best opportunities for the UK to provide expertise that can accelerate decarbonisation efforts. It combined insights from global datasets, local strategies, and direct interaction via expert interviews and a webinar with key stakeholders in Pacific Alliance cities to create a framework of analysis that can be applied globally. This framework enables cities to be evaluated according to a 5-pronged system that analyses:  

  • The assets and systems they inherit, how difficult it may be to decarbonise them, and which systems can be the main drivers of change (inherited assets)  
  • The scope and ambition of their climate change and associated net zero strategies, including areas where awareness raising may be required (ambition and strategy)  
  • The size, scale and mix of projects currently being mounted to progress to net zero, including the potential role for the UK, and the extent and maturity of platforms to convene action (projects and platforms)  
  • The tools and powers they have to undertake bold reforms and shift to net zero, and which sectors seem to offer the most scope for intervention (span of powers and influence)  
  • The maturity and dynamism of the net zero innovation and investment environment, including the extent of specialisation in sectors allied to net zero and presence of potential partners (innovation and investment)  
To find out more about the project watch the recording of the Webinar: 

Latin America Net Zero Urban Innovation Challenges and Opportunities

Meet the SMEs that presented innovative solutions to Net Zero challenges at the webinar:
  • Signol – a personalized app and communication service empowering pilots to make measurable fuel and CO2 savings.
  • Beringar – sensors to reduce real estate carbon impact and boost profitability.
  • Connected Energy – advanced energy storage solutions .
  • Ehab – measuring, minimising and mitigating weather risk in construction. 
Download the project’s reports and white papers: 

The path to Net Zero in Latin American cities: the UK’s capabilities and contributions 

Concepcion Net Zero Profile 

Bucaramanga Net Zero Profile 

Villavicencio Net Zero Profile 

Santa Marta Net Zero Profile 

Iquique Net Zero Profile 

Antofagasta Net Zero Profile 

UK Expertise on Net Zero Brief 

Net Zero challenges case studyComing Soon 

Contact us on global@cp.catapult.org.uk if your city or region needs support in the race to net-zero and would like to partner with us

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