As the UK starts to rebuild its economy in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, it is crucial that the plan is developed with climate change at its heart.
We need to shape a greener, fairer and more resilient City, and in doing so we want the whole Square Mile to play its part.
That’s why last week we launched an online survey asking City residents, workers and businesses for their views on climate change.
We’re inviting people to say what the City of London Corporation should do to counter the threat of future weather conditions, and what action they would like to see taken to make City buildings more environmentally friendly.
It’s part of our plan to launch a Climate Action Strategy later this year which will outline what we will do make sure the Square Mile become net-zero emission and climate resilient in the future.
We want to reduce the City’s carbon emissions and to lead others to take similar measures.
As the governing body of the Square Mile, we have a leading role to play in ensuring that London and the UK are both resilient to risks presented by climate change and in capturing the opportunities in the transition to a low carbon economy.
We have already taken several major steps to reduce our carbon footprint, including protecting and conserving 11,000 acres of green space in London and south east England, running on 100% renewable electricity since October 2018, and offsetting carbon emissions from business travel flights.
As part of this, we are taking bold and practical action to improve air quality in the City, and air quality here is improving.
We are piloting the UK’s first 24/7 zero emission street at Beech Street and we will turn other parts of the Square Mile into zero-emissions zones by 2022.
We have already banned the purchase of diesel vehicles from our own vehicle fleet, where there is a clean market alternative, and we are leading a London-wide crackdown on drivers who leave their engines idling when parked.
Our CityAir app provides over 30,000 Londoners with low pollution travel routes across the capital, and our Emissions Reduction Bill aims to give the capital’s local authorities tough new powers to tackle air pollution caused by boilers, construction machinery and diesel generators.
Overall, we want to make sure that 90% of the City will meet World Health Organisation guidelines for nitrogen dioxide by 2025.
In addition, we are driving forward the green finance business agenda by establishing the Green Finance Institute alongside HM government, the principal forum for public and private sector collaboration in green finance.
All of these are actions are so important. But to tackle climate change head-on it is not enough, and working together, we need to do more.
That’s why our Climate Action Strategy will be crucial.
Radical action is needed if we are to make Square Mile more climate resilient, and I’m urging all City residents and businesses to get involved in this important survey.