The unprecedented global crisis brought by the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted life as we knew it, yet the bigger, long-term threat of climate change has not gone away. If anything, cities all over the world have experienced some unexpected benefits during the lockdown, from cleaner air and less traffic, to a drop in carbon emissions due to the complete shut-down of the economy – in London alone, CO2 emission dropped by 59% since the start of the lockdown.
London has committed to become zero-carbon by 2050 (or possibly as early as 2030), with 24 London boroughs declaring a Climate Emergency before the pandemic. To drastically cut carbon emissions, the short-term effect of the lockdown is not enough to achieve the medium and long-term carbon targets, however as the capital emerges from the crisis, there is now an opportunity to prioritise a green, resilient recovery.
With the built environment sector accounting for at least 40% of carbon emissions in the city, how does the built environment sector address the net zero challenge? What are the key policies and strategies at city and local level that will guide the transition to a low carbon city and are they effective enough? And how is the private sector made of engineers, architects, developers, planners and other consultants in London are embracing these targets in their strategies and operations?
This research paper will examine how London is getting ready to become a zero-carbon city, analysing current policies from both city and local governments and reviewing how the private sector is addressing the challenge by setting ambitions standards and develop new industry frameworks. It will collate different initiatives and approaches being develop by key industry leaders and provide a snapshot of where is London in the race to net zero.
• To provide an overview of the Net Zero carbon ambitions in London and how the capital plan to achieve those targets
• To analyze the contributions of different actors in the built environment sector in setting and implementing the net zero agenda
• To provide a snapshot of where London currently is in the roadmap to net zero and investigates the implications of covid-19 on that path
• To document the efforts made by the built environment sector to meet the targets and highlight the challenges and opportunities that encounter
• What is London’s policy response to the Paris Agreement and what are the city’s strategy to achieve those targets? How do London local authorities have been addressing in turn the climate emergency?
• What is the built environment sector doing to contribute to the zero-carbon ambitions? What are the key initiatives in London that are pushing the standards to higher level and how different sectors are responding (i.e. architects, developers, engineers, consultants, urban designers, ect)?
• What can we say about London’s status in 2020 in relation to the roadmap to net zero? Are we on track?
• What are still the key barriers that need to be address in the sector in order to implement solutions fast and at speed?