Sheffield City Region net zero programme

Becoming net zero carbon by 2040


Creating a stronger, greener, and fairer South Yorkshire

In November 2019, the Sheffield City Region declared a Climate and Environmental Emergency and committed to become net zero carbon by 2040.

This was followed by a series of high-level strategic commitments in a Climate Response Framework developed by the region’s Mayoral Combined Authority in 2020.

Urban Foresight was commissioned to convert these commitments into a programme of actionable projects that would “create a stronger, greener and fairer South Yorkshire.”

Working on behalf of the Mayoral Combined Authority, we undertook an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement. This ensured that our recommendations built on the priorities, assets, and existing initiatives in the region. It also established the challenges facing different stakeholders and how these could be overcome by organisations working together. 

We developed a scoping tool to identify and prioritise net zero actions. This used bespoke criteria that were co-developed with a reference group of local stakeholders from the public, private and third sectors.

A particular challenge was reconciling the diversity of possible actions across both urban and rural areas in the region. Our analysis defined the relative contribution of different actions to the overall aims of the net zero programme. It also established a basis to evaluate future projects.

To ensure recommended projects were deliverable, guidance was provided on how to implement and manage the net zero programme on an ongoing basis. This included defining the level of resources and capacity required.

Our practical insights ensured that the region could confidently adopt radical actions to achieve net zero, create green jobs, and improve the quality of life in South Yorkshire.


Image credit: Gary Butterfield