Tuesday 20 October 2020

How could the City become a world leader in the climate change fight?

How could the City become a world leader in the climate change fight?

The City Corporation, the governing body of the Square Mile, recently committed to achieving net zero by 2040, ten years earlier than government goals.

But how could the City of London meet this ambitious goal?

It is a 'quite far-reaching' statement but 'achievable' by that kind of margin.

That's according to Shravan Joshi, an Elected Member of the City of London, who spoke to FNZ about the City Corporation's roadmap to net zero: "It's a pretty comprehensive plan. There are specific targets along the way to 2040 and the most notable one is to have net zero carbon emissions in our own operations by 2027."

With a plan founded on science-based targets, the City Corporation’s Climate Action strategy will invest £68 million in green measures in the next six years, creating around 800 green jobs: "This is a firm commitment to invest into our future. For example, around 15 million of the total investment are assigned towards damage prevention, including measures for flood prevention."

And how the City of London will look like after these changes and how this is going to affect citizens' everyday life?

Mr Joshi said: "There are going to come built environment changes, much more prevalence towards pedestrianisation and cycling within the Square Mile, so active transport is a big part of this."

Mr Joshi noted there will also be a lot of greening around the city, including the addition of more greening from the perspective of shading and cooling, which especially in the hot summer months is forecast to 'make quite a difference to the way the city look and feel'.

He added that there will also be a change in the structure of the City: "For those living and working in the Square Mile there will be changes on those buildings with reducing energy consumption, putting various measures in place to make building management better. And all these measures will aim to reduce the carbon output."

But how could this sustainable model be commercially successful as well and benefit all the businesses operating at Square Mile?

Mr Joshi said that is the point that City Corporation will need to bring the corporate world together in this plan: "We can't achieve these targets alone. We will be working with SMEs and we are going to set up a fund in which they can participate and support their own targets."

He explained the biggest challenge in this journey may stem from the geography and the background of the City of London as there are a lot of heritage sites: "If you see the skyline of London you will see all these skyscrapers everywhere, but there are many heritage buildings.

"Therefore we need to make sure that these can be net zero and sustainable for the long term without damaging the fabric of the city."

With energy already having one of the biggest impacts on the carbon dioxide emissions of the City of London, Mr Joshi also confirmed that the City Corporation will continue to work on sourcing its own electricity from renewables.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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