The City of London Corporation has vowed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040 as a part of a new climate action plan.
The powerful local authority passed the draft proposal yesterday, which will see the Corporation spend £68m on “fighting climate change” over the next six years.
The plan will include changing planning regulations to ensure future developments include carbon reduction plans, while more street space will be dedicated to walking and cycling in the Square Mile.
The Corporation believes the plan will create 800 new jobs, while also putting Guildhall 10 years ahead of central government’s net zero target.
The Corporation also yesterday voted down a motion to declare a “climate emergency”, a term associated with protest group Extinction Rebellion, with one councillor calling the suggestion an example of “greenwashing”.
Former Lord Mayor and current alderman Sir Roger Gifford said declaring a “climate emergency” would have “the potential to trivialise to outside observers who must wonder what we’ve been up to”.
Councillor William Pimlott defended the motion by saying it would have been good for the City of London’s profile.
“Let’s not miss the opportunity to get some good press when, as everyone says, we’re facing difficult things ahead,” he said.
Speaking about the new net zero target, the Corporation’s policy and resources chair Catherine McGuinness said: “We do not need to compromise the economy to fix the environment – our climate action plans will drive both growth and jobs.
“Working in partnership with City firms we will strengthen our position and become a world leader in the climate change fight.”