These are excerpts from the minutes from our meeting in October 2019
Climate change is happening. There’s more extreme weather (leading to loss of life) and our summers are getting warmer: we had the hottest day ever this summer and the 5 years up to 2018 were the hottest on record. But there’s an opportunity for us to seize: 85% of British people are worried about climate change (52% are very worried) and 33% think climate change is likely to lead to the extinction of the human race: the depth of concern creates a space for action.
The transition to a low carbon economy also creates an economic opportunity. We need to upskill people. The Stern Report said it’s cheaper to act early: investing and acting faster now will bring co-benefits and a better society for everyone.
The UK is the first (and only) major economy in the world to legislate for a net zero target (passed into law in June 2019). This means that, by 2050, the greenhouse gas we add to the atmosphere will be no more than we take out, across all sectors of the economy. The target isn’t flawless, but it does set a new direction of travel and pace.
The UK is hosing COP26 in Glasgow at the end of 2020. This will frame UK politics between now and then. Domestic action has to be fit for purpose to enable us to stand on the international stage: the UK needs to be a leader at the international, national and local level.
Action also needs to be taken locally, for example:
Local authorities can also put pressure on national government, for example:
The GLA has taken a carbon budget approach to the 2050 zero carbon target, during which time the population of London is expected to grow by over 11m – and of course all the 33 Boroughs have their own plans too!
Energy consumption in London has decreased by 20% since 2000 and emissions have decreased 32% since 1990. These are mainly due to the reduced carbon intensity of the grid: heat and transport are still really big issues.
We developed the London pathway to zero carbon through a number of steps: transport modelling, building efficiency modelling, energy systems scenarios and measures to meet 2050. The final step was three five-year carbon budgets: these help to identify no-regret options and show when key decisions needs to be made.
We have developed for energy scenarios, off of which get to about a 90% emissions reduction by 2050, leaving 10% to be offset (about 5mt, eg for aviation, heritage buildings, etc).
No regrets actions include:
The tools we have at our disposal at the GLA are:
Programmes & funds
Tools & Reports
Our carbon offsetting report will be coming out soon, showing how much has been collected and spent by the Boroughs