As the United Nation’s COP26 summit brings together leaders to accelerate action on climate change, Central London’s boroughs have ramped up their own responses to the crisis.
Read our borough round-up and climate emergency updates below.
Westminster Climate Emergency Action Plan
Westminster City Council has this week launched its new Climate Emergency Action Plan which has been developed in partnership with residents, community groups and businesses, including WPA, and sets out ambitious and comprehensive actions to cut emissions across the city. The plan includes measures to make buildings more efficient, increase affordability and use of low carbon energy resources, increase sustainable travel, reduce waste, and help create a greener and more resilient city.
You can watch a short video of the leader, Cllr Rachael Robathan, explaining the objective of the plan here and read the new Plan here.
City of London Corporation
The Green Horizon Summit was a five-day virtual event co-hosted by the City of London Corporation and Green Finance Institute which took place from 2-5 November, and 11 November. The summit addressed questions around accelerating the flow of capital into climate and nature-friendly investments, translating commitments into action, and helping financial institutions ‘green’ their business models.
Speakers include Mark Carney, the former Governor of the Bank of England; Catherine McGuinness and Chris Hayward, the respective Chair and Vice Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee at the City Corporation.
Catch up on the highlights here.
As well as its leader Cllr Gould attending COP26, the council has also been hosting a series of climate action events at the Samsung space in Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, as part of the COP Regional Green Zone. Last month the council announced plans to create climate bonds to fund green projects in the area. Read more here
Ahead of COP26 Southwark Council held a conference with residents, businesses and community groups to focus on how the borough could better reduce emissions and protect the natural environment. The key action points from that, along with ongoing work to tackle climate change, can be viewed here.
RB Kensington & Chelsea
Following its pledge for make the borough carbon neutral by 2040, Kensington and Chelsea has now set out how it intends to achieve its ‘Green Plan’ through improving air quality, tackling fuel poverty, minimising waste and protecting and enhancing biodiversity. It has also launched a Green Fund totalling £10million over 10 years. Read more here.
Lambeth used the focus on the environment to engage with local people on its emerging Climate Action Plans, with businesses and residents invited to share feedback. Read about the council’s 13 new recommendations.
Hackney Council engaged with local people in the run-up to the conference, which it plans to follow with further analysis and events reflecting on the outcomes of COP26. It will produce a report which will go to the Council’s Cabinet next year, updating its existing Green Plan. Further updates will be posted here.
The borough will release further guidance on how it plans to respond to the climate emergency following COP26, and has set out its current plans here.
The council has launched Islington Greener Futures, London’s first Community Municipal Investment, where local people can invest as little as £5 each to support green community projects, and hopes to raise £1m through the scheme. It follows a two week Climate emergency festival held last month.
A mixture of virtual and in-person events for the council’s Together on Climate Change Festival were held up to 13 Nov. The festival aimed to bring together residents, businesses, community groups and key stakeholders from across the borough to raise awareness of climate change issue.
Climate Action Updates
How you can get involved
The government is inviting businesses to join the RaceToZero, a UN-backed global campaign rallying companies, cities, regions, financial, educational, and healthcare institutions take strong and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a “healthier, fairer zero carbon world in time.”
Large businesses can also join the Business ambition for 1.5 led by the Science Based Targets initiative, UN Global Compact and the We Mean Business coalition. Smaller businesses are invited to visit the UK Business Climate Hub to make a small business-friendly commitment.
Mayor Khan’s climate commitments
At the summit, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been confirmed as chairman of the C40 group of cities that have committed to curbing toxic air and leading the drive to zero emissions. London aims to be net zero by 2030, with the expansion of the ULEZ cited as the latest initiative to help support that.
Also, at last week’s London Climate Action Summit the Mayor pledged £7.5m in community-led climate action for environmental projects that tackle climate and ecological emergencies.
Build Better Now virtual pavilion
A number of organisations from across the built environment, including London Property Alliance members and partners, have collaborated with the UK Green Building Council (UKGBG) on a COP26 virtual pavilion under the theme Build Better Now.
Survey: Online hub on the sustainability of building materials
A new online resource hub is being developed by the UN Environment Programme to address the sustainability of building materials and support sustainability in the built environment. To help shape this new resource, Bioregional has produced a short survey to capture opinions about existing digital platforms.
Take the 5-minute survey here.