Communities come together for Net Zero targets

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SCOTTISHPOWER and SP Energy Networks have launched a project that shows local communities how they can play their part in reaching Net Zero targets.

Called Zero Carbon Communities, the scheme was launched at Liverpool earlier this week.

“We know electricity demand will more than double as we move away from the fossil fuels that power our cars and heat our homes today”, Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower, said at the launch.

“We all need to do more to address climate change and this campaign sets out how we think government and the regulator can help communities drive their own transition to zero carbon.”

By recognising there is no ‘one size fits all’ model, and by setting out clear information for communities about the scale of the challenge, ScottishPower wants to work at local levels to ensure its networks support and deliver ‘a greener energy future for all’.

“More power needs to be devolved locally so that communities have a stronger voice in plans to decarbonise their neighbourhoods. And investment needs to start now to meet the scale of the challenges we face”, Mr Anderson continued.

“Crucially, to support the innovation and investment required to drive local priorities the government has to ensure all regulation has Net Zero as a guiding principle.

“We think this data should be a wake-up call for policy-makers. Zero Carbon targets may seem like a long way off, but if we’re to work with communities properly to ensure people aren’t left behind by the green transition, the reality is there’s no time to lose.”

In launching Zero Carbon Communities, ScottishPower called for three main goals:

  • Devolve more power so that communities have a proper say in setting carbon priorities in their areas.
  • Start making plans for investments now to meet the needs of communities in making the transition to Net Zero.
  • Ensure that all regulation has the ambitions of meeting decarbonisation targets at its core.

The new scheme also promises over 115,000 new jobs across its areas of operation.

“To reach Net Zero, every community will need to make changes. And each community will be unique in that journey. In that sense, one size does not fit all, and we understand the importance of being responsive to local communities.

“Our aim is simple. To help local communities understand that urgent action will have to be taken to manage the Net Zero transition successfully, by giving them a clear sense of the scale of the change, and an understanding of how every household will be affected”, Frank Mitchell, CEO, SP Energy Networks, said.

“Working in partnership with local councils, businesses, and other stakeholders, Zero Carbon Communities aims to develop a roadmap for regions served by SP Energy Networks in order to help them plan and prepare. By investing in a planned and strategic way, we’re confident we can support communities on the journey to Net Zero with cost-effective solutions that work for them.”

Following on from the Liverpool launch, the Zero Carbon Communities campaign will roll out to other areas across the territory that SP Energy Networks serves.

“We declared a Climate Emergency and became the first Combined Authority to set a target of being net carbon zero by 2040 precisely because we recognise the importance of urgent action at a national and local level”, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said.

“Hitting our target will require significant changes to how we use energy – and how we live our lives. We are working towards achieving that change and I welcome this initiative that also tackles the challenges we face head on.”

Typical communities featured in the plan have been selected within the SP Energy Networks territory and include Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, Cheshire and Warrington, and the Isle of Anglesey.