BBRC consortium partner in successful Bristol bid for a new climate action project 

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 and Bath Regional Capital is pleased to be one of the successful Bristol consortium partners together with Bristol City Council, Bristol Green Capital Partnership and Abundance Investment.  

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.” 

Councillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Climate, Ecology, Energy and Waste at Bristol City Council 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 its 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 administration’s success in establishing Bristol City Leap as a joint venture with Ameresco and Vattenfall which aims to invest £1 billion in decarbonising Bristol. 

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.

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.” 

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.” 


The announcement of funding was made today (1 March) on the NetZeroCities platform: Getting to Climate Neutrality: 53 Pilot Cities Offer a Path Toward Transformation – NetZeroCities 

About the Pilot Cities Programme 

The NetZeroCities Pilot Cities Programme supports European cities to test and implement innovative approaches to rapid decarbonisation over a two-year pilot programme, working across thematic areas to support of systemic transformation. 

The Pilot Cities Programme helps cities address all urban systems contributing to climate-neutrality, including mobility, energy systems and the built environment, material and resource flows, natural areas, cultural/social/financial/institutional systems, and accessible public spaces. Selected Pilot Cities will receive funding and hands-on support from City Advisors and the NetZeroCities Consortium partners. 

The Pilot Cities will test and implement innovative solutions, or groups of solutions, at city or district level. Innovative solutions form Pilot Cities will have the potential to scaled or replicated. Learning activities will be organised for Pilot Cities to exchange, build capabilities, replicate successful innovations, and deepen relationships A twinning programme will link each Pilot City with two or three twin cities to share learnings with others. 

About NetZeroCities 

NetZeroCities is a consortium consisting of 33 partners from 27 European countries, managing the EU Cities Mission “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030” platform. NetZeroCities supports the 112 European cities known as the Mission Cities in drastically reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to achieve climate neutrality. The EU Cities supports the European Green Deal in building a low-carbon, climate-resilient future through research and innovation. 

NetZeroCities works as a service-oriented platform supported by world-class practitioners to help cities overcome the current structural, institutional and cultural barriers they face in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. NetZeroCities aims to enable European cities and citizens to show the way forward towards an inclusive, thriving, climate resilient and sustainable future. To do so, it tailors advanced capabilities related to systemic change, citizen engagement and democratic governance, capital and financial structuring, and social innovation, to ensure cities have access to the best expertise available anywhere in the world. 

About the EU Cities Mission 

EU Missions are a new way to bring concrete solutions to some of our greatest challenges. They have ambitious goals and will deliver tangible results by 2030, by putting research and innovation into a new role, combined with new forms of governance and collaboration, as well as by engaging citizens. EU Missions are a novelty of the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme for the years 2021-2027. 

Since climate mitigation is heavily dependent on urban action, we need to support cities in accelerating their green and digital transformation. The EU Cities Mission involves local authorities, citizens, businesses, investors as well as regional and national authorities to deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 and ensure that these cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050. 

There is no match funding required from Bristol partners for this grant. The project is 100% funded by the European Union. 

The UK is eligible for this funding as it was part of the Horizon 2020 fund to which the UK was associated. 

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