Press release: Cambridge climate centre to create an investment framework to help local authorities to achieve their climate goals

16 Jan 2024

The Centre for Climate Engagement (CCE) based at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge, has announced plans to collaborate with partners across Cambridgeshire on a project to develop a framework supporting local authorities to achieve net zero in a way that aligns with national-level greenhouse gas accounting protocols. The project has been awarded funding under the Innovate UK’s ‘Net Zero Living Programme.’

Work will start in February 2024 to establish a governance framework to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the local level, aligning with national climate change objectives and accounting and reporting protocols. The project, known as ‘locally determined contributions,’ builds upon the findings of the Skidmore Review of the UK’s net zero strategy, which emphasized the critical role of local government leadership and place-based actions in addressing the climate crisis. 

Although the initial project will be based and driven by partners across Cambridgeshire, it is anticipated that the resulting framework will serve as a model for local authority roadmaps nationwide. CCE will work with the following partners to create the framework:  Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Cambridge City Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Huntingdon District Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, and Collaborate CIC.

One specific focus in Cambridgeshire is to establish a unified carbon emissions target, including resolving challenges related to transport emissions, which constitute 27% of the region’s carbon footprint. Collaborative efforts will seek clarity on responsibilities for reducing transport emissions, addressing complexities such as those arising from the inclusion of motorway and major road emissions in measurements of the local carbon footprint. 

Emily Farnworth, Director of CCE said:

“This collaboration aims to create a sustainable and unified approach to achieving net zero. The Centre for Climate Engagement is ideally situated to contribute to the development of supporting evidence for the framework, thanks to the wealth of data and analytical expertise on our doorstep. It’s exciting that plans developed in Cambridgeshire might provide a blueprint for local authorities across the UK.”

Chair of Cambridgeshire Environment and Green Investment Committee, Councillor Lorna Dupre said:

“Finding a fair route to Net Zero for local authorities and local communities, in line with our commitments under the Paris Agreement is crucial if we are to address rising global temperatures. We know we all need to play our part to reduce emissions but knowing what’s best and what makes the most difference can be difficult for us as individuals. We encounter similar issues – but on a much larger scale – when we look at climate policy as we work to understand how to create a low carbon future for Cambridgeshire.”

Contact: To find out more about this project contact project lead at CCE, Sophy Bristow