Local government has an essential role to play in coordinating and supporting national initiatives aimed at decarbonisation. This includes energy efficiency in the public sector estate, such as schools and hospitals, emissions from transport, and emissions from private business and housing.
Yet, a number of barriers exist to realising the full potential of the low carbon economy. Firstly, central government has not set a stable policy framework for either economic growth or energy markets; this uncertainty severely dampens the low carbon marketplace. Secondly, local administrative areas do not reflect functional economies; LEPs are beginning to solve coordination problems in some areas but a number of underlying tensions remain. Finally, the levers of growth – skills, infrastructure and innovation – are fragmented and this means that the wrong decisions can be made with huge opportunity costs. These factors severely limit the capacity for both the public and private sectors to strategically invest in the green transition.
This roundtable will explore what a model for green economic growth might look like that draws on new approaches to local industrial policy but is rooted in the practical needs of specific places.
photo credit: sarabeephoto