Joint report of the Director of Innovation & Growth and the Director of the Built Environment.
The Committee received a joint report of the Director of Innovation & Growth
and the Director of the Built Environment on the Climate Action Briefing Implementation.
The Committee noted that the report had made its passage through a number of Committees before being sighted by the Port Health and Environmental Services Committee. A Member commented that the objectives mentioned on the report are also parts of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, which addresses the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The work of the City of London covers 4 out of the 17 goals which are all interconnected. Officers agreed to explore the possibilities of the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
There was a discussion amongst the Members in terms of declaring a climate emergency, which had been done by several local authorities and countries. The aim of declaring a climate emergency is to declare that measures taken up to this point are not enough to limit the changes brought by it. The decision mandates the government and administration to devise measures that try and stop human-caused global warming. It was agreed that the City of London, should not declare a climate emergency without a policy and adequate date in place. The Committee expressed the opinion of not declaring a climate emergency but rather lead the way forward with tackling the impacts of global warming. The City of London wants to take an evidence-based approach.
The Committee spoke of the joint venture between the City of London Corporation and the Government, which funds the Green Finance Institute to champion sustainable finance in the United Kingdom and abroad. A Member of Port Health and Environmental Committee, Alderman Sir Roger Gifford happens to be the Chairman of the Green Finance Institute. Alderman Gifford spoke of the important work that the Green Finance Institute does and the need for the City to collaborate to work together and ensure that work is not being duplicated. Alderman Gifford suggested the prospect of inviting the Green Finance Institute to make a presentation to the Committee about their work.
Members were informed that the United Kingdom has won the bid to host the 26th Conference of the Parties, known as COP26, and is designed to produce an international response to the climate emergency. The City of London will have a physical presence at COP26, highlighting the work that the City does. Additionally, it was stressed that the City of London needs to look at its own supply chain and come up with ways to reduce the carbon footprints.
A Member raised a question, in terms of exploring the possibilities of doing some of the City’s roadworks at night, similar to how it is done in Tokyo whereby all the road works are carried out at night-time. The Committee was informed that the City needs to strike a fine balance as the City also has some residential areas, the noise impact of the work would need to be factored in. The City does have some road works at night-time, which is guided by the City of London’s Transport Strategy.
The Members discussed and debated in terms of the lead Committee on Climate Change and agreed that there needs be a wider discussion and pinpoint a Committee to lead the work on the Climate Change. The discussion ended with a request for the report to be taken to the Investment Committee.
RESOLVED – Members are asked to;
· Note the approach taken and current position of developing a Climate Action Strategy for both the Square Mile and the City of London Corporation, and
· Note the use of 2018-19 Open Spaces, Built Environment and Innovation and Growth departmental budgets to cover the costs of the consultancy support
required to deliver the Climate Action Briefing.