Dr Mark Davis leads an innovative financing project which aims to tackle the climate emergency
In 2010, at the University of Leeds, Dr Mark Davies founded the Bauman Institute for Critical Sociology which is an interdisciplinary research centre.
The group of scholars are inspired by the legacy of Professor Zygmunt Bauman at Leeds, whose work they seek to explore and to test against current and emerging global realities.
An article by Abundance Investment describes the Community Municipal Bond and describes is as a “a ground-breaking way to tackle the climate emergency”.
Abundance’s article notes that much of the government’s new climate targets will fall to local Local Authorities to implement. Since December 2018, some 65 per cent of councils have declared a Climate Emergency, with many focusing on a 2030 deadline for Net Zero emissions to be reached.
With UK councils having lost on average 60p in the £1 of central funding through austerity measures since 2010 – and with the cost of borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board increased by 100 bps from 9 October 2019 – other forms of investment are urgently needed to finance the infrastructure projects that will begin to deliver on those Net Zero targets.
Community Municipal Bonds learn from an investment-based crowdfunding model to facilitate citizen-led investment in such projects, generating a ‘blended return’ for investors. This means tangible and positive social and environmental outcomes through knowing exactly what invested funds are making happen in our local communities, as well as a competitive financial return when compared to high-street savings and investment products.
Already announced by West Berkshire Council in December 2019, and with six major UK councils (including two cities and authorities in England, Scotland and Wales) set to launch during 2020, collaborative research at the Bauman Institute is giving citizens the chance to ‘do their bit’ in the war against climate change.