Leader’s Voice – Boroughs working together for a greener future

Leader’s Voice – Boroughs working together for a greener future

Photo by Timur Valiev

The climate crisis is a collective challenge requiring collective solutions. This is why it’s so important that London local government works together as effectively as possible on securing a greener future for our city.

Climate change is happening before our very eyes. The latest report from the UN warns of a key global temperature limit being exceeded in just over a decade and increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding – all of which we’ve seen in the capital.

London is the greatest city in the world, but there’s no guarantee we can keep it this way if we don’t take urgent action to address the climate crisis and build greater resilience.  As Mayor of Hackney and Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, I know there’s fantastic work taking place across the capital.

In November 2019, we signed our Joint Statement on Climate Change making clear our pan-London commitment to work with each other and our wider partners, residents and business communities.

London boroughs are supporting local climate ambitions to decrease harmful carbon emissions.

Research shows that if London continues to emit carbon dioxide at current levels its entire carbon budget (based on the UK’s targets as set by the Paris Agreement) will be used by 2027. London’s housing stock is responsible for around a third of the capital’s greenhouse gas emissions.  We’ve therefore put together the Retrofit London Housing Action Plan, signed by all 33 local authorities in the capital, setting out how we can dramatically increase energy efficiency in London’s housing stock and help London make rapid progress on the path to Net Zero over the coming decade.

These are hugely ambitious objectives that often require serious resource investment – but there are invaluable opportunities for creating new, green jobs and boosting the capital’s post-pandemic economic recovery. New research from Central London Forward shows that the number of green jobs in the capital is set to double this decade to over 500,000, which powerfully supports the objectives set out in the joint Green New Deal Recovery Mission.

Boroughs understand the urgent need for decisive action and can draw on local relationships and their position as community leaders to ensure progress is made in an inclusive and sustainable way, with social justice and issues of fuel poverty to the fore.

Last week, on the eve of COP26, London Councils and the Mayor of London brought together London’s leaders to showcase the capital’s commitment and ability to deliver net zero at the London Climate Summit. The Summit focused on collective action towards our shared vision for a more connected city that is greener and lower carbon, more equal, healthy and resilient, and where all London’s residents, business and diverse communities can thrive.

Philip Glanville is Mayor of Hackney and Chair of London Councils’ Transport & Environment Committee – 01.11.2021