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€1.5 million more secured for Bristol climate action


Bristol has been awarded €1.5 million (£1.3 million) following a successful bid for a new innovative climate action project through the NetZeroCities Pilot Cities Programme from the European Union Cities Mission.

Together with 52 fellow Pilot Cities across Europe, Bristol – the only UK city to be awarded funding – will use the grant to further accelerate climate action and rapidly decarbonise the city. Bristol Green Capital Partnership are part of the successful Bristol consortium partners along with Bristol City Council, Bristol and Bath Regional Capital, and Abundance Investment.

Bristol smart cities mission graphicCouncillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology, Energy and Waste said: “I am delighted that today the EU’s NetZeroCities Pilot Cities Programme has announced €1.5 million of support for the creation of a Net Zero Investment Co-innovation Lab in Bristol to test new climate finance mechanisms to accelerate investment in climate action. This will help Bristol residents, businesses and organisations to both invest in, and benefit from, climate action. I look forward to working with the council’s partners, Bristol and Bath Regional Capital, Bristol Green Capital Partnership and Abundance to deliver this project

He continued “Building on our £100 million investment in decarbonising our city and our success establishing the £1 billion Bristol City Leap clean energy partnership, this funding is the latest in a series of achievements against our One City Climate Strategy. We are serious about our net zero targets and, with partners around our city, we’re working tirelessly to secure the funding and carry out the projects needed to make Bristol carbon neutral and climate resilient.

The Bristol One City Climate Strategy identified the need for innovative finance mechanisms to achieve our climate goals. With this Pilot Cities Programme the partners will create a Net Zero Investment Co-innovation Lab in Bristol. This initiative will test a suite of new climate finance mechanisms to accelerate investment in climate action including the potential for community-based investment. It will build upon the Council’s success in establishing Bristol City Leap as a joint venture with Ameresco and Vattenfall which aims to invest £1 billion in decarbonising our city.

The Bristol Net Zero Investment Co-Innovation Lab, will research, pilot, deliver and evaluate several financial mechanisms, including:

  • A Citizen Community Climate Investment Scheme enabling citizens, business, and communities to invest in their projects to reduce emissions and to generate a return. This will complement the existing community initiatives and those being developed by Bristol City Leap.
  • A Net Zero Venture Fund to enable outcome driven finance, environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds and philanthropists to invest in projects that address climate challenges and opportunities and generate a financial return and other community benefits.
  • A Carbon Multiplier Fund to invest funding from the new development paid by developers when they are unable to achieve the carbon standards for new development on site.

The Pilot Cities Programme will bring a further opportunity to share learnings with other cities, building on each other’s experiences, replicating and scaling solutions that work in similar contexts. This will ultimately lead to an accelerated transition towards climate neutrality across Europe.

This new funding complements that awarded to Bristol last month by Innovate UK to develop innovative ways to overcome barriers to net zero and will enable us to accelerate progress on the finance barriers.

Lizzi Testani, Chief Operating Officer, Bristol Green Capital Partnership said: “Bristol Green Capital Partnership is delighted to be working with partners on this project to support the development of Bristol’s Net Zero Investment Co-innovation Lab. Whilst in many cases we know what needs to be done to reach net zero, how to finance these changes is a looming question for cities across the world. This lab will explore many routes to financing a just transition and we’re looking forward to integrating the Community Climate Action Project into the finance hub’s activities and promoting opportunities to be involved to our wider membership of over 1,100 local organisations.”

Karl Harder, Joint Managing Director, Abundance Investment said: “Bristol is putting people at the heart of the decarbonisation agenda. This grant will help accelerate the delivery of people-centred finance in the city. It will be a step towards enabling local people to finance, own and benefit from the decarbonisation of their city. It is fantastic to be able to support this powerful vision.”

Ed Rowberry, Chief Executive, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital said: “Bristol & Bath Regional Capital is delighted to be working with leading local partners as part of Bristol’s Net Zero Investment Co-Innovation Lab. Decentralised finance is a vital part of addressing our region’s decarbonisation journey. This significant award will put us on a strong footing to attract and deploy some of the many billions of pounds needed to reach net zero by 2030.”

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