London's green recovery must be a collaborative effort

The London Conference 2020 Blog

London's green recovery must be a collaborative effort

By City of London Corporation

London and the UK face profound long-term challenges. The global pandemic and the impact of climate change pose distinct threats to our future prosperity. However, these twin crises also present a once in a generation opportunity to grow our economy back in a more sustainable way.

At the City Corporation, we are proud to have set ambitious net zero targets to tackle our direct and indirect emissions across and beyond the Square Mile. These targets support and complement the fantastic work the GLA and the London Boroughs are already doing across the capital to ensure that London reaches net zero. Collaboration is fundamental to achieving a green economic recovery, and we recognise that if we are to meet the ambitious global targets set by the 2015 Paris Agreement government, business and civil society must be joined up in their approaches.

To drive this green economic recovery, and in the spirit of collaboration, we are working closely with the financial and professional service sector to mobilise capital and demonstrate how private finance is ideally placed to address wider environmental and societal challenges.

To give one example, the Green Finance Institute, which we were proud to help launch, is wholly focussed on developing new and innovative ways with which to mobilise green finance for the transition to a net-zero economy. Its work on financing the retrofitting of homes across the UK, to improve their energy efficiency, demonstrates how private finance can help deliver a real term green impact for Londoners.

There needs to be an international response though, and our economic recovery from COVID-19 will be global. We are therefore excited to help bring stakeholders from across the world together later this month to discuss how we utilise green finance. The Green Horizon Summit will showcase how green finance is fundamental to the post-COVID recovery. Colleagues attending the London Conference, but also across our capital, are all welcome to join.

Climate action will involve new technologies and will create new jobs. It will also require financial investment.  The City of London’s own climate action strategy will see us make a number of changes to our built environment.  For instance, it will mean planning regulations will ensure new developments include carbon reduction plans in their designs and encourage more sustainable buildings which factor in green roofs and walls. We also aim in the process to create 800 green jobs.

Climate action requires more than just holding challenging conversations, and we hope forums such as the London Conference will bring stakeholders from across the capital together in action to help drive a green economic recovery. The City Corporation is committed to playing its part, and along with friends and colleagues, supporting London in achieving this aim.