Long-term investment in neighbourhoods needed for just net zero transition

As COP26 ends, a cross-party group of MPs are calling for long-term investment to help neighbourhoods transition to net zero.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods have published a new report examining how local areas could play their part in, and benefit from, the transition away from fossil fuels.

The APPG recommends establishing a Community Wealth Fund, using £2bn of dormant assets, with a focus on investing in areas that rank highly on indices of multiple deprivation and lack social infrastructure.

The funding would be used to invest in building community capacity and confidence securing local leadership on climate adaption and mitigation projects, as well as helping to ensure these communities are able to access green jobs and transition local industry and jobs away from carbon-intensive to more sustainable activities.

aerial view of city buildings during daytime

Paul Howell, co-chair of the APPG, said: ‘The government is committed to act on climate change at a national and international level, but we shouldn’t underestimate the capabilities of communities to develop climate positive projects at a local level as well – projects which benefit the local area and simultaneously help to reduce emissions and increase community resilience.

‘Polling demonstrates there is considerable appetite for people in ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods to take action on climate change, but they need the resources, capacity and dedicated spaces to be able to do so, and the opportunity to use their skill set to help solve those problems through interesting jobs. This report sets out ways the government can offer practical support to help them do so.’

Rt Hon Dame Diana Johnson DBE MP, co-chair of the APPG, added: ‘Climate change isn’t an issue for the future – it’s a crisis now and we need to act. As a cross-party group we are committed to ensuring that residents in ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods do not miss out on opportunities to act locally on the climate crisis. As we transition to net zero it’s essential that local voices are heard and that people have resources and capacity to take action on climate change in their local area.’

Photo supplied by Local Trust



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