A new initiative by UCL and the Local Government Association helps councils and universities address climate challenges at local level

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A new initiative launched by UCL and the Local Government Association will help councils and universities address climate challenges at a local level.

The Net Zero Innovation Programme will bring together partnerships of researchers and climate change officers from councils across all the regions in England for an initial period of 12 months.

It seeks to lead action at a local level to ‘reduce carbon emissions, transition to net zero and ultimately improve the quality of life for local communities.’

The Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, envisions that the varying expertise of local authorities to respond to the climate emergency creates a clear opportunity for engagement and knowledge exchange with the research community.

Cllr Liz Green, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association’s Improvement and Innovation Board, commented on the announcement: “Councils are uniquely placed within their communities to deliver effective climate policies that will improve the lives of their residents.

“The Net Zero Innovation Programme is another example of how councils are forming partnerships locally to tackle climate change.

“We look forward to collaborating with UCL to enable all councils to identify projects to tackle climate change and achieve council’s net zero commitments.”

The Net Zero Programme is one of a number of initiatives, which form part of the UCL Sustainability Strategy launched in 2019.

As part of the strategy, UCL has now divested from all fossil fuels and has committed to net zero carbon buildings by 2024 and a net zero carbon institution by 2030.

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), added: “As London’s Global University, UCL recognises that climate change needs to be addressed at a range of scales, and that councils and communities are working hard towards net zero targets in their local areas.

“We are delighted to be launching this partnership with the Local Government Association, to give our researchers and others across the UK an opportunity to share their expertise with local authorities and to address climate challenges at the local level.”

More information about the programme and how to apply is available here