One thing that the Covid-19 pandemic has underlined to us all is the need to plan effectively and take action in the face of risks that may seem remote at the time.
Climate change is one such risk that directly impacts everyone across the world. It’s something that we need to work on together as a community both locally and internationally.
London Climate Action week is a chance to celebrate the work that is being done to tackle climate change on our doorstep, while also recognising more needs to be done. It is vital to act now to protect our city for future generations.
We have already started to implement our plans to make the City of London a global leader in the climate change fight through our radical Climate Action Strategy.
We have committed to achieving net zero and climate resilience in the Square Mile by 2040, 10 years earlier than government goals. This means reducing the emissions produced by activity within the City boundary as well as those caused by the City but occur outside, such as travel for business, commuting and leisure.
One way we will achieve this is through a programme of support for Square Mile SMEs. In May, we launched a pilot ‘climate action’ programme of free, tailored workshops and mentoring through our grantee the Heart of the City. The climate action course supports businesses to take positive action in four steps and resulting in a plan to reach net zero.
We’ve decided on areas for pedestrian priority across the Square Mile to reduce vehicle mileage and create more space for walking and cycling.
We have committed to achieving climate resilience in our buildings, public spaces and infrastructure. This means preparing for the impacts of climate change and extreme weather. We will try out measures such as heat resistant materials and Sustainable Drainage Systems in our public realm work programme.
We have also committed to reach net zero in our own operations by 2027. In this first year we are focusing on understanding energy use across our corporate, investment and residential buildings. Holding better data will mean that we can record improvements to energy performance and build on our approach.
We are currently implementing a new energy database to monitor all energy in our buildings, improving the monitoring and targeting of our building related energy usage and CO2 emissions.
We will create meadow
and plant trees within our Open Spaces in place of arable farmland to aid removal of carbon from the atmosphere. This will have the added benefit of increasing biodiversity and resilience to climate change.
We’re also engaging with residents across our residential estates through workshops to help us understand energy use and the buildings through the eyes of those who live in them.
Our climate action plans will drive both growth and jobs, which will be of great benefit to the local community.
This is about boosting our economy, protecting our natural and built environment and tackling climate change head on.
It won’t be easy, but it is necessary – we have to address this challenge.
We need to respond fast and with bold actions. By working together, collectively our small changes will make a huge difference.