Building the Low Carbon Economy on Merseyside: Follow on funding

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Geography


“Developing the Low Carbon Economy on Merseyside” is a Knowledge Exchange Partnership involving the University of Liverpool, Liverpool Vision, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, and Groundwork Merseyside. It explores how Liverpool’s economic development agencies can effectively facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy.

  • Does the city have the right policies to combine a healthy, vibrant and socially inclusive local economy with what we need to do to avoid dangerous climate change?

  • Specifically, what does this mean for the support of new and existing businesses and social enterprises on Merseyside as they and the economy make the transition to a low carbon economy?

  • How can new businesses and social enterprises be supported to engage with low carbon opportunities? 

  • How can the partners ensure that socially excluded communities can benefit from low carbon opportunities?

Follow-on Funding will maximise the impact of the Partnership with support for reciprocal exchanges between Liverpool and previous and existing European Green Capitals to help partners decide whether the city should make a formal bid to be Green Capital, a programme of seminars mainstreaming low carbon into the city’s economic development strategy; and support for a programme of engagement with SMEs taking action to reduce their footprint.

Planned Impact

This bid aims to secure and progress the long term impact of
the "Developing the low carbon economy on Merseyside". This has achieved a conceptual impact of an understanding that action on climate change and resource constraints is necessary, and need not be at the cost of livlihoods and economic vibrancy. But the low carbon economy is seen as a new form of growth, alongside existing economic activities. Long term impact needs to be secured through mainstreaming low carbon into mainstream local economic policy.

(a) At a conceptual level impact will be progressed by support for the PI and partners to fund reciprocal research visits to existing Green Capitals (Stockholm and Hamburg) to facilitate a decision about whether to embark on a bid to be European Green Capital. This is seen as a way to secure commitment to and catalyse progress toward low carbon. Research would look to practically support partners in identifying what the process for bidding for Green Capital is by accessing winning partners' experiences, and identify what the costs of bidding and the benefits of winning are;

(b) Support for a programme of five bi-monthly seminars mainstreaming low carbon into the city's economic development strategy and exploring energy descent pathways for the city. They would be organised in partnership with partners and focused on local practitioners and decision makers, with speakers from other cities providing examples of best practice. Findings would be communicated through the existing website, through policy briefs, through the Facebook page and blogs, and through press releases;

(c) At the practical, policy and programme level, we propose support for a dedicated Research Fellow to be based at the University of Liverpool, but spending time on secondment to the three partners. As discussed in the case for support, the RF would build the capacity of the cities' business advisors and 'Green Ambassadors' (businesspeople who have taken significant action on low carbon) to practically progress decarbonisation at a deeper level through technical and personal skill development delivered through a series of monthly interactive workshops, and through site visits to amdassadors premises. This would be delivered in partnership with the Chamber and Groundwork. The RF would also work with Liverpool Vision, The School for Social Entrepreneurs, and the city's Community Economic Development agencies to develop practical support for developing the capacity of residents in socially excluded communities to benefit from low carbon; and

(d) Support for wider dissemination of findings. Academic outputs have already been produced for Geography Compass and International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and disseminated at international at academic and practitioner conferences. Further outputs are planned for Transactions of theInstitute of British Geographers, Local Environment, and Environment and Urbanisation. We have yet to fully engage with the practitioner press (both print and websites), including the uploading outputs to the ESRC's website. We propose practitioner focused articles for New Start, Local Government Chronicle, Town and Country Planning, and Regeneration and Renewal. Finally we will engage with low carbon websites and email lists like Transition Towns, Low Carbon Communities and the Sustainable Development Research Network. Our partners in the Chamber have supported us well with press releases, but more work can be done to place articles in the national press.
Description As discussed in the previous submission, the findings of the project fed into Liverpool City Council's decision to establish a Mayoral Commission on Environmental Sustainability which recommended a number of issues, many of which were included in the findings of the Low Carbon Liverpool Report, for action at the city region level following devolution to a city region mayor. This work is ongoing - Liverpool City Region will be electing a new city region Mayor in May 2017 and the recommendations of the Low Carbon Liverpool report will be discussed with the new Mayor after June. The Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership is also developing a city region energy strategy, which has been informed by the Low Carbon Liverpool report. Brexit means that it is unlikely that Liverpool will bid to be European Green Capital, although this is not at this stage a certainty.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Economic