London's financial district governing body calls on MPs to back green recovery

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·3 mins read
UK, London, blurred motion of incidental business people walking to work with view of the financial district behind
The roundtable, hosted at the Labour Party conference, will examine how businesses can help facilitate a transition to reduce carbon emissions and improve climate resilience. Photo: Getty

Calls for a green recovery post-coronavirus have intensified, with The City of London Corporation urging the Labour party to push for measures to protect the environment.

The Corporation and think tank IPPR are due to hold a roundtable at this year’s digital Labour Party Conference, discussing the ways London can lead by example on climate action.

The roundtable will also examine how businesses can help facilitate a transition to reduce carbon emissions and improve climate resilience.

Coronavirus has had a huge impact on CO2 emissions, as global groundings of planes kicked in, and industrial production was all but halted as lockdowns took hold.

But activists and scientists say that the world needs to reach net-zero to stabilise the warming of the planet.

Speaking at the Net-Zero London event will be 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.

Ahead of the event, McGuinness 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.

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“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.”

The City Corporation is also launching a strategy targeted at bringing the Square Mile to net-zero emissions.

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.

The organisation has already taken action, 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. But more can be done.

One of the lynchpins of the strategy is improving cycle lanes and travel infrastructure.

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.