The City of London Corporation has strengthened its commitment to climate action by signing up to the Race to Zero campaign and UK100 network.
The announcement will be made at the Green Horizon Perspectives event this afternoon as part of the Square Mile governing body’s radical strategy to tackle climate change.
These commitments will help the City Corporation achieve its goals of reaching net zero carbon emissions for its own operations by 2027 and across its investments and supply chain by 2040 – and to support the achievement of net zero for the whole Square Mile by 2040.
Race to Zero is the UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial, educational, and healthcare institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world in time.
All members are committed to the same overarching goal: reducing emissions across all scopes swiftly and fairly in line with the Paris Agreement, with transparent action plans and robust near-term targets.
Its objective is to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonised economy ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference – better known as COP26 – in Glasgow in November, where the City Corporation alongside the Green Finance Institute are holding a Green Horizon Summit focussed on sustainable finance.
The City Corporation has also signed up to the UK100 pledge. In doing so it joins a network of UK locally elected leaders who have pledged to play their part in addressing climate change.
To accelerate the transition to a Net Zero society, UK100 brings together the City of London Corporation and local authorities across the country to collaborate and work with the UK government to create flourishing communities.
Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee, Catherine McGuinness, said:
“These commitments mark a new step forward in the City’s race to net zero carbon emission status.
“Climate change directly impacts everyone. We need to prepare for it, and we have to act now.
“We are encouraging City firms to show their commitment and sign up to Race to Zero to strengthen the Square Mile’s position in the climate change fight.
“This is about boosting our economy, protecting our natural and built environment and tackling climate change head on.”
Nigel Topping, UN High Level Climate Champion for COP26, said:
“We are delighted to welcome the City of London Corporation in the Race to Zero.
“This is a vital first step, and I look forward to rapidly accelerating our collective efforts to swiftly and fairly reduce global emissions and deliver a zero-carbon world in time.”
Chief Executive of UK100 Polly Billington said:
“We’re thrilled that the City of London Corporation has joined more than 60 other local authorities in pledging to go further and faster than the UK government in delivering on the climate emergency.
“They are joining our ambitious network of UK local authorities who have pledged to do everything within their power to reach net zero emissions as soon as possible in a way that benefits their communities with new jobs and skills.
“From Edinburgh to Cornwall, local leadership – alongside more powers and resources – is key to winning the race to net zero.”
The City of London Corporation has already taken several actions to reduce its carbon footprint, including protecting 11,000 acres of green space in London and south east England, and cutting the capital’s vehicle emissions by leading a London-wide crackdown on drivers who leave their engines idling.
It purchases only renewable energy and has banned new diesel vehicles from its own fleet where there is a clean market alternative.
The authority’s Air Quality Strategy aims to ensure the Square Mile meets W.H.O limits on nitrogen dioxide by 2030 and it established the Green Finance Institute, the principal forum for public and private sector collaboration in green finance, alongside HM government.