The role of local government in advancing a just transition in the built environment

City toolkit

All around the world, local governments are developing policies to decarbonize the built environment – from incentives for building retrofits to regulations mandating heat pumps – to achieve their net zero goals.

As these policies are rolled out, social impacts vary considerably: some initiatives are helping those most in need, while others are exacerbating inequality, facing pushback from communities who feel left behind.

Local governments are uniquely positioned to ensure these policies tackle inequality as well as reduce carbon emissions, bringing everyone on board and thereby accelerating the green transition.

This paper outlines six key tools which local governments can leverage to achieve these goals. For each tool, it provides policy recommendations and practical examples from around the world.

While each context will require tailored solutions, co-developed with local communities, this toolkit can inspire and guide local government elected officials and technical staff on their journey to a sustainable and inclusive future.