Tag Archives: London Councils

Councils should use bonds to fund green infrastructure projects

28 February 2016The Independent reports on a further supporter for the use of Green Bonds to help fund green infrastructure.“Councils should use bonds to fund much needed green infrastructure projects such as renewable energy and flood defences, according to the Lord Mayor of London.” Two quick things to note here: first, the Lord Mayor of London is not the Mayor of London  – but Leader of the Corporation of the City of London (one of London’s 33 boroughs) – a one year post largely undertaking ceremonial and social duties. Secondly, The Independent is actually quoting a former Lord Mayor – Sir Roger Gifford was appointed that post in 2012-13. The latest incumbent can seen here.

The Independent continues: “Sir Roger Gifford said there was tremendous scope for the country to follow the lead of the US and Swede, where municipalities have raised billions of pounds for green projects by selling bonds to  the public. ..The city of Gothenburg launched its own green bond for a project and were flooded with calls from local people wanting to get involved,” said Sir Roger, an experienced financier who heads the UK division of Sweden’s SEB Bank, which managed the Gothenburg green bond. “I don’t see why that shouldn’t happen in Leeds, or Bradford, or wherever.” Gothenburg’s two green bonds have helped fund a number of projects across the city including water, biogas, district heating, and electric vehicle infrastructure.

“Sir Roger added: “There is great potential for the UK to follow the Scandinavian or North America models. Mostly obviously for wind, but also for wave, solar and biofuel power – all those forms of renewable energy are perfect for this kind of climate-friendly financing. Waste management, water management, better water grids, better electricity grids, sustainable transport, sustainable housing – all of them are also excellent, as is  air-pollution prevention. His comments came as Swindon became the first council in the UK to issue a solar bond, a renewable energy bond, or a bond of any type to the public for more than a century.”

Interestingly Sir Roger is also chairman of the recently launched Green Finance Initiative, launched on 16 January of this year “which aims to make London the world leader in green finance” – see full City of London press release here.

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‘London faces £500 million shortfall in share of fuel poverty and climate change funds’

20 January 2012: London Councils have responded to the Government’s Green Deal consultation stating that “London needs a fair share of government Green Deal cash to help people afford home improvements such as solid wall insulation. To date less than five per cent of the national pot to help support ‘retro-fitting’ (upgrading the energy-efficiency of existing homes) has been spent in London, despite the capital housing 13 per cent of the population. Funds for carbon saving and affordable warmth schemes available under the government’s new Green Deal should be allocated on a regional basis, says London Councils.”

Councillor Catherine West, chair of London Councils Transport and Environment Committee, said:
“The Green Deal is vital to London, good for the environment and good for people’s pockets. It can help us to tackle the growing problem of fuel poverty in London, but the government’s proposals exclude many of the people that need help most.

“London has a very high proportion of homes that are hard to treat and families living in fuel poverty. To make the Green Deal a success nationally we have to make it work in London, but we can only do that with our fair share of the available money.”

Read the full release here along with London Councils submission to the Green Deal consultation.

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It’s heating or eating in winter for us, pensioners warn Mayor

19 September 2011: The Evening Standard has today highlighted how a group of pensioners – including Islington Pensioners Forum – have submitted a petition to City Hall last week calling on the Mayor to do more to assist vulnerable people across the capital who are unable to pay their bills. In addition, London Councils has set out its concerns that over a quarter of Londoners are struggling to meet their energy bills – with rising prices and welfare reforms threatening to send even more into fuel poverty. To demonstrate how widespread the issue is, London Councils has modelled the impact of fuel poverty on four separate households – a lone parent, a ‘squeezed middle’ couple with two children, a lone pensioner and an extended family. When London’s housing costs are factored in, all but the ‘squeezed middle’ couple live in fuel poverty, spending more than 10 per cent of their income on energy bills (the Government’s definition of those classed as being fuel poor).
The London Councils fuel poverty modelling report and press release can be downloaded here.

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London Councils memorandum on Fuel Poverty

September 2011: London Councils have submitted a memorandum of evidence on fuel poverty to the London Assembly’s Health and Public Services Committee current inquiry on this issue (see item 8 on the agenda).

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London Councils

London Councils’ Climate Change, Energy and Sustainability webpage

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London as a Leader in the Low Carbon Economy

11 December 2009: London Councils and the Government Office for London (GOL) commissioned consultants to look into the strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for London in the emerging ‘Low Carbon Economy’ ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. URS Corporation’s report ‘London as a Leader in the Low Carbon Economy’ was intended to support the transition to a ‘low carbon economy’, and to feed into the comprehensive London-wide ‘action plan’ that the LDA commissioned to determine London’s economic opportunities as a ‘Low Carbon Capital’.


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