Skip to main content

How ready are cities for net zero?

Wednesday 6 November 2019, 18:00 – 20:00
Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre

UK law means we now need to reach “net zero” by 2050 – but how prepared are our cities and local authorities to achieve this?

The UK is the first major economy in the world to pass a law to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. This means we must achieve overall net zero carbon emissions by that date, balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal so no further carbon is added.

Cities and towns are where UK climate policy and action is delivered “on the ground”. Are our places ready to deliver transformative climate action?

Researchers at the University of Leeds have developed a Climate Readiness Index to assess the level of preparedness of places and will be talking about it – and road-testing it with the audience – in this interactive public lecture, which will have a special focus on the housing sector.

Based on work with the Leeds Carbon Roadmap produced by the Leeds Climate Commission, we will present, apply and seek feedback on the early findings of our recent research that has developed a place-based ‘Climate Readiness Index’.

This index has been developed to enable any city or town to assess and track its readiness for climate action and to identify and target areas where readiness needs to be improved. The index assesses readiness against 5 criteria – technical, political, financial, institutional and social – and it uses a simple traffic lights-based system to identify areas where a city or town is completely ready to take action and those where further interventions are needed to make it ready.

After presenting the basic framework, we will work with the audience using interactive participation technology to use the index to assess the readiness of different parts of the housing sector in Leeds (e.g. private, private-rented, social) to decarbonise.

The results will feed into the ongoing development of the Climate Readiness Index and its application in Leeds and across the other cities and towns engaged in the ESRC Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN).

This event is part of the Festival of Social Science run by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation. It provides an opportunity for the public to meet some of the country’s leading social scientists to discover, discuss and debate how research affects their lives.  Please register here

Image: plans for Leeds include a pedestrianised City Square

About the Festival of Social Science
The ESRC Festival of Social Science runs from 2—9 November 2019.
The ESRC Festival of Social Science has helped researchers to engage with new audiences from teenagers to pensioners, including individuals representing businesses, charities and policymakers.This year’s ESRC Festival of Social Science has over 470 events being held across the UK. Events will cover a wide range of topics – AI, mental health, sexuality, parenting, weather, gender, ageing, love, death, economics and education, to name but a few.
The Festival of Social Science celebrates some of the country’s leading social science research, giving an exciting opportunity to showcase the valuable work of the UK’s social scientists and demonstrate how their work has an impact on all our lives.
Follow the festival on Twitter – #ESRCFestival