City Corporation calls on Labour to back a green recovery for the capital
The City of London Corporation has today called on the Labour Party to push for a green recovery for London from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The call comes as the City Corporation hold a virtual roundtable with think tank IPPR at this year’s Labour Party Conference to explore the ways in which London can lead by example on climate action. It will also examine how businesses can help facilitate a transition to reduce carbon emissions and improve climate resilience.
The ‘Net-Zero London: Challenges and Opportunities’ fringe event features contributions from leading political figures including Shadow Climate Change Minister and MP for Greenwich and Woolwich Matthew Pennycook, Deputy Mayor of London for Environment and Energy Shirley Rodrigues, and Policy Chair for the City Corporation Catherine McGuinness. The discussion will be chaired by the Head of the IPPR’s Environmental Justice Commission Luke Murphy.
Speaking ahead of the fringe event, Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chair at the City of London Corporation, said:
“Households and businesses across the capital continue to face unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As focus shifts to the economic recovery, it is vital that London leads the way by placing climate action at the centre of our pathway to growth.
“The Labour Party has already outlined ambitious plans to support a zero-carbon recovery, for example by helping to retrain young people who lose their jobs in green industries. Radical action like this and partnership with the private sector is essential to tackle the climate crisis.
“London is well-placed to establish a blueprint for other cities to follow suit given it is a world-leader in green finance and sustainability. We want to work with the Labour Party to realise this vision for the benefit of all.”
As part of its own efforts, the City Corporation is due to launch its Climate Action Strategy this year. This will outline what the organisation will do to ensure the Square Mile – and the sites run by the City Corporation itself – become net-zero emissions and climate resilient in the future.
A survey carried out recently as part of plans to launch the Climate Action Strategy revealed that City workers, visitors and residents think that improved cycling provisions and renewable energy would help to tackle climate change.
In 2007 the City of London Corporation became the first governing body in the UK to produce a dedicated Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.
The organisation has already taken several actions to reduce its carbon footprint, including offsetting carbon emissions from business travel flights, protecting and conserving 11,000 acres of green space in London and south east England, and running on 100% renewable electricity since October 2018.
In recent years the City Corporation has invested heavily in cycling infrastructure and introduced a City-wide speed limit of 20mph; the UK’s first 24/7 zero-emission vehicle street at Beech Street and the ‘All Change at Bank’ scheme which has transformed a former accident hotspot.
Its Transport Strategy will boost the number of people cycling in the Square Mile by making City streets safer and more pleasant. As part of the plan, the existing network of cycle routes - which have helped to quadruple cycling levels since 1999 – will be expanded, more cycle parking will be introduced alongside new dockless cycle hire – and a new 15mph speed limit could be rolled out.
The City Corporation’s COVID-19 transport recovery programme is also creating more space for social distancing and ensuring the safety of people walking and cycling. The programme will provide an additional 700 cycle parking spaces on-street and in City Corporation car parks.
London is already a leader in green finance, with the London Stock Exchange home to 218 sustainable bonds which have together raised $40bn. London was also recently ranked in first place in the Z/Yen green finance rankings ahead of other global cities.
Notes to editors
The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk