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Launching the next phase of London Councils’ Climate Programme

Overview

London Councils is launching the next phase of our Climate Programme to scale up delivery and ensure that London boroughs' collaboration on net zero and adaptation delivers for all our diverse communities.

Boroughs have come together to fund this next phase of collaboration on climate change with £2m over the next two years. This will enable boroughs to work better together to reduce carbon emissions, delivering net zero faster, more efficiently and with enhanced economic and health benefits across the capital.

London needs strong collaboration between the boroughs, the GLA and Central Government to be able to reach net zero and adapt to the changing climate. Local government is a crucial delivery partner for climate change delivery. Over the past two years, London Councils has developed the programme as the new model for doing this at a regional scale. 

All London boroughs are already on the road to net zero; successful delivery of the next phase of the Programme will accelerate our collective skills and capability, governance, investment and confidence to deliver climate action, and put London more securely on the path to delivering a just transition to net zero and climate resilience by closing the gap between policy and delivery.

The programme will support collaboration across all aspects of climate change:

  • Retrofitting our buildings to make them cheaper to heat and reduce their impact on the environment;
  • Increasing the number of Londoners employed in the green economy;
  • Ramping up local renewable power; ensuring that all new developments have a minimal carbon footprint;
  • Rapidly developing low carbon transport;
  • Working with residents and businesses to reduce their consumption-based emissions;  ensuring that London develops the resilience to cope with the extreme weather shocks that come more frequently and severely with climate change.

We have published an implementation plan which outlines the activity that the programme will be taking over the next two years. Take a look here.

Boroughs wishing to find out more about how they can engage with the Climate Programme should contact Kate Hand.

What has the programme done so far?

Over the past two years, we have developed a new bottom-up, collaborative Programme, and shown that this is the best model for tackling climate change together at a regional scale.

We have already produced tools and projects and have successes and awards under our belts that show this is the way to accelerate progress.

Since 2020 the lead boroughs and other key programme partners have delivered on joint priorities, achieving economies of scale and tangible successes against boroughs’ shared priorities. For example, we have:

  • Invested in boroughs’ in-house retrofit skills and increasing skills in our communities
  • Developed a replicable model for Power Purchase Agreements, to increase long-term certainty over price and reduce risk to boroughs in securing renewable power for their operations
  • Launched a London cohort for neighbourhood-based climate financing models
  • Commissioned joint research and evidence bases on carbon offset funding, transport pathways to net zero, the green economy, low carbon development in Local Plans and community-powered retrofit, providing efficiencies for boroughs through economies of scale
  • Delivered practical tools and joint campaigns, including a low carbon diet campaign, new textile collection services, schools’ information packs and other resources for boroughs
  • Developed innovation pilots and developing new corporate partnerships to help drive behaviour change on object repair and able-to-pay retrofit, in partnership with the London Office for Technology & Innovation and with seed funding from GLA

Alongside this, we have been laying the groundwork to further scale up our collaboration on key climate goals. This includes developing two-year implementation plans and resource requirements for each theme, and establishing robust governance arrangements. The past two years have paved the way for future success, with a tried and tested model and robust plans for its acceleration.

What is each theme focused on and what are some of their activities?

The implementation plan which we have published with this announcement contains full details of the different themes; some headlines are provided below.

Retrofit London

  • Goal: Retrofitting all domestic and non-domestic buildings to an average level of EPC B.
  • Led by LB Enfield and LB Waltham Forest.
  • Activities:
    • Developing an outcomes-based funding and delivery model for retrofit in London
    • Delivering the London-wide Home Upgrade Grant 2 programme
    • Pilots to trial new approaches to engaging Londoners on retrofit

Low Carbon Transport

  • Goal: Halve road journeys made by petrol and diesel via combined measures that can restrict polluting journeys and incentivise sustainable and active travel options.
  • Led by RB Kingston and City of Westminster.
  • Activities:
    • Explore a consistent methodology for transport emission data and borough level baseline data for London.
    • Commission an evidence base for the carbon impact of CPZs, kerbside strategies, and net zero led parking permits
    • Support boroughs in introducing rental schemes for e-bikes and e-scooters and aid London’s long-term strategy on micro-mobility rental services.

Low Carbon Development

  • Goal: Secure low carbon buildings and infrastructure via borough planning.
  • Led by LB Hackney
  • Activities:
    • Research report on the potential of cross laminated timber in London’s new development.
    • London low carbon outcomes policy toolkit.
    • Linking carbon offset pricing with the cost for London’s boroughs of offsetting carbon emissions

Renewable Power for London

  • Goal: Secure 100% renewable power for the public sector now and in the future
  • Activities:
    • Setting up a practitioner's group on decentralised energy.
    • Support boroughs to make full use of the new statutory powers on heat zoning across London to accelerate the decarbonisation of heat.
    • Work to procure 100% renewable energy for London’s public sector
    • Assessment of energy-related capacity and capability gaps within boroughs

One World Living

  • Goal: Reduce consumption emissions by 2/3 focusing on food, textiles, electronics and aviation
  • Led by LB Harrow.
  • Activities:
    • Delivery of the pan-London food campaign (Eat Like a Londoner) with ReLondon.
    • Rolling out phase 3 of the TRAID refresh campaign
    • Scale resident facing initiatives
    • Promote consumption-based emissions accounting across all London boroughs

Building the Green Economy

  • Goal: Double the size of the green economy in London
  • Led by LB Hounslow.
  • Activities:
    • Create a monitoring and evaluation framework and metrics to track the growth of the green economy and just transition.
    • Produce an assessment of current green skills provision relative to employment opportunity and market demand
    • Support the growth of green small and medium-sized enterprises by producing best practice analysis and mapping of effective green finance and support programmes.

Resilient and Green

  • Goal: Help London become environmentally, socially and economically resilient to the changing climate, in a way that safeguards and enhances green and blue infrastructure and ensures that they are equally accessible to all.
  • Led by LB Southwark and RB Kensington and Chelsea.
  • Activities:
    • Develop a strong shared vision for a climate resilient London
    • Strengthen boroughs’ strategic adaptation capacity
    • Identify and promote good practice, data and evidence, and new partnerships to manage climate risks and assess impact

How can your borough get involved?

  • Strengthen skills and capacity - join a practitioner forum, training, knowledge share blog
  • Contribute knowledge and expertise - lend borough expertise to working groups, leadership of workstream or steering groups
  • Contribute to communications - share case studies of successful climate delivery to build London's profile
  • Leadership - provide feedback on strategic direction and priorities through TEC and Leaders

Boroughs wishing to find out more about how they can engage with the Climate Programme should contact Kate Hand.

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