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Sadiq Khan renews efforts to mobilise green investment for London to unlock economy

Sadiq Khan renews efforts to mobilise green investment for London to unlock economy
© Fas Khan

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has partnered with the Green Finance Institute to help London unlock the £61 billion* investment needed from private and public sources to make London zero carbon by 2030.

Today, Sadiq joined a virtual event with the Mayors of Paris, L.A, Barcelona and the Governor of Tokyo to share ideas and discuss how cities have been leading the way on ambitious action in the five years since the Paris Agreement was signed.

London was one of the first cities in the world to publish a climate plan compatible with the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement to keep global temperatures below 1.5c of warming. The plan has underpinned Sadiq’s ambitious work to make London a zero carbon city, including delivering the Ultra Low Emission Zone, making London’s buildings net zero, electrifying buses and taxis, divesting pension funds from fossil fuels and scaling up solar energy across the capital. Following his declaration of a climate emergency, Sadiq has brought London’s Zero Carbon target forward to 2030, to accelerate the solutions and minimise the most devastating impacts of a changing climate.

Public sector finances alone will not mobilise the investment required to make London zero carbon and help a green recovery. Sadiq has commissioned the Green Finance Institute to explore opportunities to maximise the flow of private capital into London’s environmental priorities. This includes the capital investment required to upgrade London’s buildings, transport and energy networks to net zero emissions. The Green Finance Institute will publish their recommendations to the Mayor in early 2021.

This builds on the work of the Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency Fund which provides flexible financing to enable low-carbon projects across London. In its first two years MEEF, managed by Amber Infrastructure Group, has mobilised over £250 million of public and private capital enabling projects including heat networks and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, reducing London’s CO2 emissions by more than 12,500 tonnes per year. This was leveraged from City Hall commitments of £40m from the European Regional Development Fund (‘ERDF’). Today the Mayor committed a further £8.2m of ERDF which will leverage further finance and further deliver on his ambitions for London.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The signing of the Paris Agreement was a landmark moment in the battle against climate change. In London, we have been determined to play our part in this mission and were one of the first cities in the world to outline how we intend to comply with the Agreement’s 1.5c target.

“As we recover from COVID I have been clear that we must rebuild our city so that it’s cleaner, greener and fairer. We have set a bolder target of making London zero-carbon by 2030 and are now pushing ahead with some of the most ambitious policies of any global city. However, no one city can solve the climate emergency alone.

“It will require record investment and coordinated action from everyone – cities, businesses, national governments and communities – to truly turn the tide. That’s why I have commissioned the Green Finance Institute to explore opportunities to maximise private investment in low carbon projects and create jobs that will help achieve our 2030 target.”

The Mayor is committed to a Green New Deal for London, combining a strong economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic with actions necessary to tackle the climate emergency, and create jobs and opportunities for all Londoners. To achieve this the London Recovery Board (co-chaired by the Mayor) has set the ambition to double the size of the green economy in London to £100 billion by 2030, which would kick-start greater job growth over the next decade.

Today’s investment follows the Mayor’s announcement of the first £10m of his Green New Deal Fund which will act as a catalyst to green projects that will support around 1,000 green jobs and support London’s economic recovery and tackle the dangers of air pollution and the climate and ecological emergencies. The London Sustainable Development Commission’s (LSDC) report Financing for a Future London launched in March, made a series of recommendations to the Mayor to mobilise public and private investment in making London net zero and the partnership with the Green Finance Institute will build-on their recommendations.

Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, Chief Executive of the Green Finance Institute said: “Collaboration is key to designing and implementing the solutions that can finance green and sustainable projects. We are therefore pleased to be supporting the Mayor and GLA to define the actionable steps that will successfully build a pipeline of investable projects and crowd in private capital, so as to create an ambitious Future Finance Facility for London building on the recommendations of the LSDC.”

Cllr Rishi Madlani, Head of Sustainable Finance & Just Transition, Sustainable Banking, NatWest said: “We at NatWest Group welcome the Mayor partnering with the Green Finance Institute to help unlock investment in solutions to tackle the climate emergency. Earlier this year we committed to provide £20bn of climate and sustainable funding and finance to businesses as part of our climate change commitments and are committed to working collaboratively with partners to help the transition to a low carbon economy.”

Mark Watts, C40 Executive Director said “London is a true global leader on climate action, and one of the 54 cities announced today as being on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and keep global temperatures below 1.5°C of warming. Mayor Khan’s continued commitment to tackle the climate crisis through London’s ambitious climate action plan is exemplary – demonstrating how bold action can accelerate equitable solutions to the climate crisis, and build a fairer and greener future. The single biggest test of any government’s climate commitment right now is to ensure we build back better after the pandemic. A Green New Deal for London will be vital to ensure this vision and ambition is at the heart of the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Source: Daily Scotland