Governing body of UK capital's financial district lays out detailed decarbonisation and green investment roadmap
London's financial district placed itself at the epicentre of efforts to combat global heating yesterday, as the City of London Corporation unveiled a radical new Climate Action Strategy designed to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040, a decade ahead of the UK's national goal.
The plan commits the City Corporation, which is a major public services provider across the capital, to achieving net zero carbon emissions for its own operations by 2027 and by 2040 across its investments and supply chain.
In pursuit of the first target, the body will invest £68m in fighting climate change over the next six years, creating 800 green jobs, it said.
Moreover, it plans to update City planning regulations to ensure all new developments include carbon reduction plans in their designs and encourage more sustainable building designs, such as green roofs and walls. It is also developing a new Climate Action Fund bringing together the financial heft of the Square Mile's large businesses to co-invest in low or zero-carbon technology, which it said could then be deployed to decrease carbon emissions across the City.
In addition, the plan envisions more street space being dedicated to walking and cycling in the City, with wider pavements, new parks, timed street closures, and flood-resistant road surfaces installed. And the City Corporation will invest £2m in natural carbon removal via the introduction of historic sustainable land management practices at some of its parks and open spaces in London and the South East, it added.
"We do not need to compromise the economy to fix the environment - our climate action plans will drive both growth and jobs," averred Catherine McGuiness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, as she launched the report. "This is about boosting our economy, protecting our natural and built environment and tackling climate change head on."
The new strategy builds on previous pledges from the Corporation to purchase solely renewable electricity and ban diesel vehicles from its own fleet. In 2019, it established the Green Finance Institute alongside the government, aiming to champion London's role as a leading green finance hub and mobilise the trillions of pounds of investment needed to meet the world's climate goals.
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