COP26: Greenest cities in the UK named amid ‘need for changes in how we live’

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A new study from NatWest ranked the UK’s most eco-friendly cities. The NatWest’s Green Cities Report was developed with experts from the University of Southampton.

Looking at the 25 biggest cities by population, the report looked at 17 criteria in six categories: green space, energy use/production, motor vehicles, waste and recycling, commuting travel and pollution.

The report found the greenest city in the UK to be Sheffield.

The old steel-making capital of the world has big goals for the future, wanting to become a net-zero carbon city by 2050.

Sheffield has 22,600 acres of green space and a high volume of renewable energy production.

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In second place was Edinburgh, with 233.3m2 area of green space per head and a high percentage of ULEZ vehicles.

In third was Cardiff, making three of the four UK nations represented in the top three.

The UK capital of London was 11th on the list, while Glasgow, the host city of COP26, was seventh.

Professor William Powrie from the University of Southampton was the lead expert behind the report.


He said: “It’s great to see Sheffield scooping the accolade of the UK’s Greenest City, with schemes like their Grey to Green campaign creating high quality green recreational and active transport corridors, helping people behave more sustainably in their daily lives, and benefitting the city’s environmental trajectory.”

He continued: “Extreme weather events of the past year together with the focus on sustainability ahead of COP26 have brought home the need for changes in the way we live.

“We have run out of time and the changes need to be made now.

“Simple changes can make a big difference – walking, cycling or using public transport rather than going by car, using less and recycling more; but we all need to get involved.”

The UK greenest cities

1. Sheffield

2. Edinburgh

3. Cardiff

4. Brighton & Hove

5. Bristol

6. Leeds

7. Glasgow

8. Nottingham

9. Newcastle upon Tyne

10. Belfast

11. London

12. Salford

13. Manchester

14. Derby

15. Wakefield

16. Liverpool

17. Plymouth

18. Bradford

19. Stoke-on-Trent

20. Birmingham

21. Hull

22. Leicester

23. Coventry

24. Sunderland

25. Wolverhampton

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