Arriving at the Low-Carbon City
A study in Leeds to pin-point low cost carbon-cutting
Half of the world’s population lives in cities. So what can be done to reduce the colossal quantity of carbon emissions they produce? As part of a consortium funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the LWEC-accredited Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy aims to explore the economic potential for low-carbon cities – and a pilot study in the Leeds City Region is already under way.
“We're confident the study will highlight practical measures that will enable us to take significant steps forward in a cost-effective way”, says Melanie Taylor of the Leeds City Region Secretariat.
By pinpointing least-cost carbon-cutting measures, the consortium is generating results applicable to cities in every corner of the globe.
“It’s become clear that a big chunk of emissions can be eliminated by simple demand-side energy efficiency measures with a payback of two or three years,” says Professor Andy Gouldson, the Centre’s Director. “But this is likely to depend on innovative policies and new forms of carbon finance.”
Hosted by the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Centre is at the forefront of the consortium’s work, which is evaluating literally thousands of low-carbon options, ranking them by cost and carbon-cutting effectiveness, and producing detailed guidance for policy makers and investors.
“This data is absolutely crucial,” Professor Gouldson emphasises. “We believe it could make the difference between cities deciding to commit to de-carbonisation or failing to tackle climate change.”