How can cities lead on net zero?

This online event explored British cities' progress on net zero targets and the barriers they face.

Event starts on 24 November 2022

Cities and large towns have the potential to drive the transition to net zero due to lower transport and domestic emissions compared to rural areas. Transitioning to a greener economy is also an opportunity to drive investment in cities and improve productivity.

Just over one year on from COP26 in Glasgow and following COP27 in Egypt, this event brought together panellists to discuss if British cities are doing enough to meet net zero targets and the barriers they face including lack of powers and policy short-terminism. Panellists also dicussed the role of businesses in reducing carbon emissions and the need to make sure the ‘green sector’ is supported. 


Councillor Georgia Gould, Chair, London Councils

Amy House, Director, Green Economy/The Growth Company

Valentine Quinio, Senior Analyst, Centre for Cities

Chair: Andrew Carter, Chief Executive, Centre for Cities

During this online event, we asked our audience a series of questions on the topics being discussed. When asked whether British cities are doing enough to deliver on net zero targets, an overwhelming majority – 95% – of attendees answered ‘no’. Panellists agreed with the audience.

Poll result from online event audience. 95% of attendees think British cities are not doing enough to deliver on net zero targets, 5% think British cities are doing enough.

However, when asked about the main barrier to British cities making progress on net zero, the answer was less clear cut. While half of all respondents felt lack of funding was the main barrier, the remaining half were split equally between ‘lack of political will’ and ‘lack of powers’, and all panellists were in agreement that lack of powers is the main barrier to delivering on net zero.

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