Regions commit to net-zero five years earlier

Forty-one regional leaders from Edinburgh to Cornwall made a commitment last week to cut further and faster than the national goals in a race to net-zero by pledging to eliminate emissions in their communities at least five years earlier.

Co-ordinated by UK100, the group of city mayors and council leaders will sign the UK100 Net Zero Pledge which explicitly commits them to neutralising their emissions by 2030 and those of their residents and businesses by 2045.

The group of cross-party leaders will work together over the coming year to push for more funding and powers from central government which will enable them to go even “further and faster” in the journey to net-zero.

Polly Billington, director of UK100, said: “These ambitious local leaders have pledged to do everything within their power to reach net-zero emissions as soon as possible in a way that benefits their communities with new jobs and skills. From Edinburgh to Cornwall, local leadership, alongside funding and powers is key to winning the race to net-zero.”

The authorities represent 20.7 million people, almost a third of the UK’s population, including all tiers of local government, all regions in England, and Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland. Five city region mayors have also committed to the pledge UK100 is joining C40 Cities, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM), CDP, ICLEI and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to mobilise an unprecedented coalition of cities committed to setting and achieving science-based targets and implementing inclusive and resilient climate action ahead of COP26 in Glasgow.

The leaders have agreed to limit the use of offsets and use them only as a last resort when reducing emissions to net-zero at source is not possible. They will aim for their offsets to be as local as possible. Leaders have also committed to annual reporting of their progress, from 2022 onwards.

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