City of London Corporation hailed as ‘A-List climate action leader’ by global environment charity

The City of London has been listed among an elite group of cities by the environmental non-profit organisation, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), receiving a top score on its climate action measures. 

Its governing body, the City of London Corporation, launched an ambitious Climate Action Strategy which commits it to achieving net zero carbon emissions in its own operations by 2027. It also aims to become net zero across its investments and supply chain by 2040 and support the achievement of net zero for the whole Square Mile by the same year, whilst building climate resilience into the Square Mile’s buildings, public spaces and infrastructure. 

The City Corporation has already cut its annual carbon emissions by 31%, and energy consumption by 21%, between 2018/2019 and 2021/2022. And since 2018, it has been using 100% renewable electricity. This month it will publish updated figures for the financial year 2022/23. 

Through a £40 million Power Purchase Agreement with international energy provider Voltalia, the City Corporation buys all the electricity produced by a solar farm in Dorset. The facility provides over half of the City Corporation’s electricity, powering sites which it runs, including the Barbican Centre, the Old Bailey, Guildhall, several schools, social housing estates, and wholesale markets across the capital. 

It has also embedded climate resilience into all City Corporation operations, including: 

  • Running a ‘Cool Streets and Greening’ programme, introducing measures such as climate-resilient urban greening, sustainable drainage and tree-planting in streets and open spaces – tackling a number of climate risks including overheating, water stress and flooding.
  • Managing and protecting of 11,000 acres of green space in and around London which remove around 16,000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere a year, equivalent to 44% of emissions from its own operations in 2018/2019. 
  • Being the first UK authority to run a fully zero-emission fleet of refuse vehicles and switched to 100% renewable energy in 2018.
  • Introducing new carbon options guidance for developers and encouraging a ‘retrofit first’ approach to new planning applications, to minimise carbon emissions resulting from materials, construction and the maintenance of a building’s life cycle. 
  • Having a Riverside Strategy that sets out how the Thames frontage will be adapted over the coming years to protect the Square Mile from sea level rise whilst transforming the space for the benefit of users. 
  • Undergoing decarbonisation through numerous upgrades to building controls, lighting, ventilation, heating and cooling across a wide range of sites in the City. 

The CDP praised the City of London as one of 119 cities across the globe, that is taking bold leadership on environmental action and transparency. 

Only 13% of cities that were assessed in 2023 received the top score. 

It means that the Square Mile is recognised as an ‘A-List City’, taking four times as many climate mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A-Listers. 

City of London Corporation Policy Chairman, Chris Hayward, said: 

“We are delighted to see the City of London listed as a global leader in climate action and thank the CDP for their recognition. 

“As the voice of the UK’s financial and professional services sector and the governing body for the Square Mile, we are delivering strategic, sector-wide initiatives, as well as dynamic local schemes benefitting City residents and workers. I’m determined that the City Corporation will lead the way.”

CDP Cities A List - City of London