The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today outlined bold proposals to secure more than £500 million for investing in climate action by issuing green bonds. Sadiq would become the first Mayor of London to issue green bonds in this way and at this level – raising funds for new and existing projects which deliver environmental benefits, and a more sustainable economy.
Sadiq’s plans will accelerate London’s push to net-zero by helping to tackle rising energy bills and the climate emergency. The Mayor is committing a record £90 million of GLA funds to support the ambition, with £4 million to develop high-impact green investment opportunities for the public and private sector; and £86 million to support a substantial GLA Green Bond programme, financing direct decarbonisation investment by the GLA Group and its strategic partners as part of the Mayor’s Green Financing Facility.
This investment will support projects making social housing and public buildings energy efficient, as well as clean, local energy projects providing solar PV, heat pumps and district heating across London. By leading the way and committing an initial £90 million the Mayor will help unlock over £500 million to finance such low-carbon projects.
Improvements to social housing will help tackle inequalities exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic and the cost of living crisis. London has some of the highest levels of fuel poverty in the country with one in nine* London households unable to meet the cost of heating their homes. Low-carbon heat projects help reduce energy bills and improve living conditions for thousands of Londoners. They will also support Londoners with the skills they need for jobs in the green economy, rebuilding the capital post-COVID so that it’s cleaner, greener and fairer.
The Mayor’s proposals are estimated to support more than one million tonnes of carbon savings over the lifetime of the projects and lower energy use by 328,638 MWh a year, the equivalent to the energy used by nearly 85,000 homes in a year, while supporting jobs in London.
London continues to be a world leader in green finance, this new funding builds on the £30 million he committed to the Mayor’s Energy Efficiency Fund at COP26 in Glasgow which is expected to leverage up to £150 million of investment into London projects. This latest announcement shows a clear acceleration of efforts to achieve his net-zero ambitions, building on his Net Zero pathway report launched in January.
The Mayor has announced this record new funding ahead of publishing his final Budget for the Greater London Authority (GLA) Group for 2022-23 on Wednesday. The final Budget takes into account that council tax and business rates returns from local authorities are higher than were forecast in the Mayor’s consultation Budget proposals last year.
The Mayor of London and chair of C40 Cities, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’ve committed to making London net zero by 2030, faster than any other comparable city. We are facing a pivotal moment in our efforts to tackle the triple dangers of toxic air pollution, climate change and congestion to the health of Londoners and wider society. I also want London to be a zero-pollution city and have expanded our Ultra Low Emission Zone to cover all of inner London so that far fewer children have to grow up breathing toxic air.
“I have been clear that climate action and our economic recovery must go hand in hand. This will require record investment and coordinated action from everyone – cities, businesses, national governments and communities – to truly turn the tide. That is why I am leading the way by committing £90 million to help unlock more than £500 million of private investment through green bonds to support low carbon projects and create the green jobs that will help make our target of a zero-carbon capital a reality by the end of this decade.”