Climate change minister Joan Ruddock announced that Bristol, Leeds and Manchester will work with the Carbon Trust and the Energy Saving Trust to develop individual city-wide action plans under the Low Carbon Cities Programme.

Speaking at the Core Cities Conference in Nottingham, the minister confirmed Defra is committing £250,000 of funding to the programme, which will audit the cities’ emissions and establish a city-wide CO2 baseline.

New measures and initiatives are expected to be introduced which could include using more renewable energy and promoting cycling to work.

Ms Ruddock said: “Our cities were once at the forefront of the industrial revolution. Now they have the opportunity to lead the way again and be the driving force behind our push to a low carbon economy.

“Creating targeted action plans will help them achieve this by setting a clear path for cutting emissions.

“The Low Carbon Cities Programme will illustrate that meeting the challenge of climate change and building prosperity in our cities can and should go hand in hand.”

Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: “We currently work with a third of all local authorities helping them to cut carbon, and have collaborated with all the key public sector bodies within Bristol, Leeds and Manchester.

“This new programme is the next crucial step in encouraging collaboration and harnessing good practice to ensure coherent city-wide strategies.”

Ms Ruddock also announced a new programme from the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy, which is working with Shell and RWE npower to assist UK cities in taking practical measures to tackle climate change.

The project will focus on the UK’s major cities and aims to develop a network to share experiences of using new sustainable energy opportunities. The council will also develop targeted regional programmes in key UK cities.

Kate Martin

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