We know that solutions to climate change and clean energy will take both global commitments and local pledges. As part of the Purpose Climate Lab, we’ve supported UK100—a network of British cities and communities working towards 100% clean energy by 2050. The challenge for UK100 is to get 100 British cities to commit to this goal.
“We believe the UK has a great opportunity to lead the world in an early shift to a fossil-fuel-free economy, just as we have led the world in previous industrial transitions,” said Judith Blake, leader of Leeds city council, and John Holdich, leader of Peterborough city council.
In mid-September, UK100 hosted a cross-party event featuring a high-profile and ideologically-diverse participants discussing how cities and communities can access funding for 100% clean energy projects.
The principal idea of UK100 attracted support from everyone, and the group discussed the need for active support from government for cities to access finance for clean energy projects. Specifically, people want to know: where the money is coming from, how much we would need, how it should be distributed, and to which projects. We’re up for having those conversations – it reduces the democratic deficit of billions of infrastructure money currently being in the hands of the national government and not local leaders.
On social media, community members requested more information to get their own communities signed up—from Chelmsford in Essex to Medway in Kent. These are smaller, more conservative communities, so the chance to spread out and attract further support for local action is strong.