New London housing plan to help achieve net zero

Boroughs have declared a new plan to achieve net zero across all London properties, which could see a £98 billion investment in the green economy and result in massive environmental and economic benefits.

All 33 of the capital’s local authorities have agreed a joint plan to cut carbon emissions from London’s 3,781,477 domestic buildings by retrofitting to improve energy efficiency. By committing to upgrade all housing stock to an average energy performance rating of EPC B by 2030, boroughs will drive a dramatic decarbonisation of London property and make vital progress on the capital’s path towards net zero.

 London Councils says that boroughs’ ambitions for retrofitting the capital rely on targeted government investment, facilitating new private financing opportunities, and encouraging funding by landlords and individual households. The cross party group estimates that achieving net zero in every London property will cost £98 billion overall, but that this target will support 200,000 jobs linked to insulating and retrofitting by 2030 [3], boosting London’s post-pandemic economic recovery and encouraging growth in green industries.

London Councils is calling on the government to use its Spending Review to announce: £30 million of up-front funding for the next phase of the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission work, which is necessary to unlock over £200 billion of private investment for delivering net zero across the UK’s 12 biggest cities; delivery of the £3.8 billion Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and £2.5 billion Home Upgrade Grant; new financial incentives to encourage private retrofitting, such as green mortgages offering lower rates and a variable Stamp Duty Land Tax for more energy-efficient homes.

Philip Glanville, chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, said: “Achieving net zero is undoubtedly a momentous challenge – but it’s also an invaluable opportunity to work with communities in improving energy efficiency, embedding green skills, and driving a green economic recovery.

“This is a vital investment in a greener future for London and the whole UK. Retrofitting on this scale will bring immediate benefits by creating new jobs while also at this crucial time lowering Londoners’ fuel bills, cutting carbon emissions, and addressing the climate emergency. As we approach the Spending Review and COP26, the government should seize the day and boost local funding for this important work, which is integral to the UK’s ability to make net zero happen.”

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