One thing that has absorbed me over the last year is work around the City Corporation’s Climate Action Strategy coupled with the lead up to COP26.
It was exhilarating to work on both topics as I have had a long involvement with sustainability, green finance and the environment. Ten years ago this was not so popular such that I felt I was pushing the Corporation uphill in trying to get buy-in about the need to consider emissions and the impact of climate on risk and resilience. My determination then led to the setting up and chairing of a subcommittee which was the start of the Corporation’s road to be considered a leading authority. I ensured that the Corporation complied as much as possible (creating a corporate Carbon Descent Plan to net zero carbon by 2050 and being the first local authority to be accredited under the Carbon Trust Standard) as well as linking to the Governmental interest in this topic via the Environmental Audit Committee. I was asked to help lead the Green Finance Initiative that led to the Green Finance Institute where I am a non-exec director.
Working on the City Corporation's preparation for COP26 has been a significant piece of work. When the date was moved to November 2021 it was agreed that the City would host the Green Horizon Summit in November 2020 which reached hundreds of thousands of delegates. This positioned the work of the City with Government on a national and international stage. Now work is progressing towards November 2021, including the legacy thereafter.
The Corporation's Climate Action Strategy was launched in October 2020 with an ambition to create a net zero Square Mile by 2040. https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/assets/Services-Environment/climate-action-strategy-2020-2027-20-10-20.pdf
This was game-changing in the way that the departments in the Corporation worked together to achieve a programme of work that received significant member support. I am leading the engagement with some of the stakeholders across the City and arranged a recent seminar for the Livery Companies which has resulted in a full programme of workstreams to prepare the Livery for net zero; to lead in education on this topic and provide protocols and templates for smaller businesses and charities to achieve net zero and address other areas regarding climate change. https://www.liverycommittee.org/about/city-of-london-corporation/climate-action-strategy/