Research funded by the Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN) and carried out in partnership with Abundance Investment has found that residents want local authorities to act on climate change and are attracted by the prospect of being part of a collective solution.
The mechanism to achieve this, Community Municipal Investments (CMIs) – the new model of finance co-created with UK council teams through the Financing for Society research project. CMIs are a bond issued by local authorities through a crowdfunding platform giving residents the chance to support low-carbon projects, directly benefiting their own community.
CMIs are being hailed as a breakthrough for hard-pressed councils to achieve their climate targets – and transform their relationship with residents.
There is around £4bn of investable wealth per 100,000 people in the UK*. Currently this flows into global companies and funds, but CMIs offer the potential for people to invest in their local area and make a tangible difference.
For councils struggling with the dual challenges of economic recovery from Covid-19 and responding to the climate crisis, CMIs can help bring forward projects to “Build back better”.
Despite a desire to see their local authority take a more proactive approach, only a minority of respondents (10%) were strongly aware that their council had declared a climate emergency or knew about climate actions taken or planned.
The gap between these findings, and the popularity of CMIs with UK investors – 73% said they would invest in them – demonstrates an opportunity for local authorities to raise awareness by involving citizens directly in practical measures to reduce carbon emissions.
Building trust and enhancing civic pride
The research, which was conducted across the UK as well as in Warrington, Leeds and West Berkshire, also shows that CMIs have the potential to enhance civic pride, build trust and create positive relationships with residents.
The PCAN report can be downloaded for free by clicking here.