The Economics of Low Carbon Cities: A Mini Stern Review for the Leeds City Region

What is the most effective and efficient way to decarbonise a city? There are hundreds of low carbon options available and although they present a significant opportunity to reduce energy bills and carbon footprints, there is often a lack of reliable information on their performance. The higher levels of risk and uncertainty that emerge as a result of this lack of reliable information can be a major barrier to action, making it hard to develop a political, a business or a social case for investment in low carbon options.

The Mini-Stern Review for the Leeds City Region was based on a three year programme of research evaluating the potential economic returns of different low carbon technologies and infrastructure in the Leeds City Region. The research indicated that a city region of three million people could reduce its energy bill by £1.2 billion (1.6% of city-level GDP) and carbon emissions by 36% by investing 1% of city level GDP in cost-effective low carbon measures. These investments pay for themselves in four years and generate broader local benefits including 4,500 new jobs and substantial reductions in fuel poverty.

The Mini-Stern Review for the Leeds City Region has guided the investment decisions of the Local Enterprise Partnership and Green Economy Council. These reports have also directly informed the UK Committee on Climate Change's report, How Local Authorities can Reduce Emissions and Manage Climate Risk, and the associated policies from the DECC and DCLG.


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