LGA AND UCL launch Net Zero Innovation Programme

Councils and universities can apply for a new Net Zero Innovation Programme to address climate challenges at a local level.


wind turbines on a hill with a blue sky background

Councils and universities can apply for a new Net Zero Innovation Programme to address climate challenges at a local level, the Local Government Association and University College London announce today.

It comes as councils across the UK lead action at a local level to reduce carbon emissions, transition to net zero and ultimately improve the quality of life of their residents and the local environment.

The Net Zero Innovation Programme will bring together partnerships of researchers and climate change officers from councils across all the regions in England for an initial period of 12 months. 

The LGA, which represents councils in England and Wales, said that a pilot of the partnership workshops held in April this year, comprising of six pairings of councils and universities, was successful in building the tools and techniques required for this type of collaboration.

It said universities have been working in the climate change space for a substantial period of time and have invaluable research that can help councils in achieving their ambitions.

The LGA said that it hoped the varying expertise of local authorities to respond to the climate emergency creates a clear opportunity for engagement and knowledge exchange with the research community.

UCL added that, as part of a wider research community, it is excited to work with colleagues from institutions across the country in addressing climate challenges.

Cllr Liz Green, Vice Chair of the LGA’s Improvement and Innovation Board, said:

“Councils are uniquely placed within their communities to deliver effective climate policies that will improve the lives of their residents.

“The Net Zero Innovation Programme is another example of how councils are forming partnerships locally to tackle climate change.

“We look forward to collaborating with UCL to enable all councils to identify projects to tackle climate change and achieve councils’ net zero commitments.” 

Professor David Price, Vice Provost Research at UCL said:

“As London’s Global University, UCL recognises that climate change needs to be addressed at a range of scales, and that councils and communities are working hard towards net zero targets in their local areas.

“We are delighted to be launching this partnership with the LGA to give our researchers and others across the UK an opportunity to share their expertise with local authorities and to address climate challenges at the local level.”

Notes to editors

Councils can apply for the Net Zero Innovation Programme.

View further information about the programme.
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The Net Zero Innovation Programme is one of a number of initiatives, which form part of the UCL Sustainability Strategy launched in 2019. As part of the strategy UCL has now divested from all fossil fuels and has pledged to make the campus single-use-plastic-free by 2024.

UCL is one of the world’s leading universities, based in the heart of London with more than 12,000 academics, research staff and research students. UCL Public Policy assists staff and students in engaging with policy professionals.