Blog :

Tom Hayes: Plans for Zero Emission Zone in Oxford race ahead in bid to cut emissions

We all have the right to clean air, yet millions of people across the UK are breathing toxic air on a daily basis. A recent report found that outdoor air pollution is linked to 40,000 deaths in the UK each year, and health experts warn that there is no safe level for pollutants. Toxic air affects every one of us, from the time that we are in the womb and through to old age, though some are more vulnerable, including those on the lowest incomes.

Read More

Waseem Zaffar: Cleaning up our air for future generations

Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, reflects on the work the authority is doing to tackle a national public health crisis on a local level

 

 

Turn on the tap at home or in your workplace and you can be sure that what comes out will be safe to drink. We take clean drinking water for granted – though so many others around the world can’t -because we view it as a basic human right rather than a privilege.

Read More

What is Clean Energy?

UK100 encourages local leaders to adopt policies that will make a zero carbon economy a reality in their communities. Clean energy, generating power and heat from renewable sources, and developing technologies that reduce the carbon emissions of energy intensive industries, are key to a successful transition away from dependence on dirty fossil fuels.

The way we get there will change as the costs of technologies fall and the solutions we develop to manage demand and get smarter with our energy use increase.

That’s why our funders commissioned IPPR to develop a plan for the whole of London to paint a picture of what is possible by one city and one leader to make the shift.

Of course the levers that leaders have vary according to the powers they have. And ensuring this works for local residents, encouraging new industries and jobs, designing warmer, healthier homes is essential.

There are also global scenarios for the development of clean energy, which are regularly updated. In 2015, the energy [r]evolution estimated that:

“By 2050, 92% of the electricity produced worldwide will come from renewable energy sources in the basic Energy [R]evolution scenario. ‘New’ renewables – mainly wind, Pv, CSP and geothermal energy – will contribute 68% to the total electricity generation.”

You can read more of the report here (the key bit is on p86)

Is it just about renewable electricity?

No. We have so much more to do than just clean up our power supply. Heat is still mostly dependent on gas in the UK (and if you live off the gas grid you may be dependant on oil or coal), and some of our most important heavy industry (steel, chemicals and cement) may still depend on carbon-based sources of energy.

UK100 promotes the adoption of clean energy by local leaders.  While much of that will be across their own authority functions and activities (housing, transport, waste management) there is also an important role for their leadership in their wider community and local economy, for example in securing EV charging points, driving energy efficiency or innovative experiments such as Leeds’ H21 project piloting hydrogen in the gas grid.

 

We also encourage leaders in industrial regions, such as the Tees Valley, to show leadership in the adoption of low carbon and clean energy solutions, such as the deployment of CCS technology and CCS-ready energy generation. 

UK100 is pleased to support such ambitions, to enable our most energy intensive industries to be part of the transformation of our economy to zero carbon by 2050.

Carbon Capture and Storage has a prominent role to play in that transition. Closing down our industrial base is not an option in the pursuit of our international climate commitments.  By delivering new technologies, we can continue to grow our economy, while also contributing to radical reductions in carbon emissions. 

The UK100 Pledge

As leaders across Britain we see the challenges our communities face and acknowledge our responsibility to secure the future for them and for people around the world when faced with the challenge of a changing climate.

The people who live in the towns and cities we serve deserve warm homes, secure and affordable energy, to breathe clean air, drink clean water and live in a town or city of which they can proud.

This will help us ensure we keep the lights on, generate our own power for our nation, protect consumers from high and unstable energy prices and end our dependence on imported fuel from states we would rather not rely on.

The future we face requires ambition and imagination so that our children can have a safe and secure future, so we will take action that tackles climate change but also builds cities which are the best places for our children to grow up.

We have a crisis: we have a responsibility to deal with it.

We are uniquely placed to contribute to the solutions we need, because of our industrial past and we have demonstrated throughout our history that we are able and willing to lead on finding solutions to the new challenges the world faces.

We have the ambition of making all our towns and cities across the UK 100% clean before 2050, in line with the commitments made nationally and internationally at the Paris Summit.

We hope other towns and cities across the globe will join us to demonstrate that this transition will happen through acts of leadership, and that a transition to a clean energy future is both viable and already beginning to happen in many towns and cities today. Our UK towns and cities are committed to making a better future for all.