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Net-Zero Research Forum: Funding the transition

Tuesday 2 June 2020, 12:00 - 13:00

Priestley Centre/PCAN (Place-based Climate Action Network) joint seminar

How can Leeds research help society to finance a rapid transition to net-zero?

This event is the third in a series of Net-Zero Research Forums – informal webinars to discuss research and innovation ideas focused on achieving net-zero emissions. Researchers from different disciplines present ideas and provocative questions to stimulate debate and creativity. All are welcome to collaborate on this pressing global challenge.

This webinar, ‘Funding the transition’, will feature two short presentations by:

  • Dr Mark Davis, Associate Professor of Sociology in the School of Sociology and Social Policy
  • Dr Anna Barker, Lecturer in Criminal Justice in the School of Law

Professor Andy Gouldson, Co-Investigator of the Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN) and Chair of the Leeds Climate Commission, will introduce the event.

Dr Mark Davis will present a talk titled ‘Financing for Society: The Case for Community Municipal Investment’.

Local authorities are on the front line of a just transition to net-zero, yet have lost 60p in the £1 of central funding since 2010. With normal borrowing channels also hit hard by regulatory changes and COVID-19, alternative sources of funding are needed now.

Since 2016, collaborative research by Dr Davis has pioneered the use of investment-based crowdfunding to provide a new model of citizen-led ‘place-based’ investment for local authorities. In partnership with Abundance Investment, this research co-created a new Community Municipal Investment (CMI) model to facilitate funding for local green and social infrastructure projects. With councils already set to offer a CMI in 2020/21, Dr Davis will discuss applications of the model and his hope that it will begin to move money for people and planet.

Dr Anna Barker will present a talk titled ‘Community funding for parks and green spaces’.

Over the past decade new infrastructure has been created in the UK to harness community funding for improvements to green spaces, which benefit both people and the climate. These include crowdfunding platforms, Parks Foundations and Community Foundation named funds.

Dr Barker will discuss research she conducted as part of the national Rethinking Parks programme, exploring views towards initiatives that seek to harness voluntary contributions from the local community and businesses, and outline the local approach via Love Leeds Parks. The first grants awarded in Leeds focussed on thirteen projects that benefit the natural environment, in response to the declaration of a climate emergency by Leeds City Council.

Staff and students are also invited to join our Microsoft Team – Net-Zero Research Forum by following the link or using the join code 2zzzfir.

This event is part of the University’s Interdisciplinary Research Development Programme.

Register for the webinar