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Date updated: 13/07/2023

We know we need to mobilise efforts at a local level to reduce carbon emissions across the Square Mile. A big part of our Climate Action Strategy focuses on both, collaborating with others and encouraging and supporting others to make their own climate action plans.

The City of London Corporation wants to enable residents and communities to shape their own climate action plans and support them in doing so. Organisations making a difference in the City of London are invited to apply for grants from the Neighbourhood Fund.

This community fund helps to ensure that projects have a wider, positive impact on people who live, work and visit the Square Mile.

One of the City Corporation’s central objectives is to increase climate knowledge because understanding the science behind climate change supports decision-making and practical action. This is a crucial part of our engagement with individuals, organisations, businesses, communities and governments.

The City of London School for Girls is an example. Economics teacher Aman Kanwar has developed a seminar-based course that provides an overview of the multi-dimensional challenges posed by climate change as well as possible solutions. The course was tested on three audiences, A-level students, their parents and City Corporation employees.

The next goal is to expand the course and provide a version for residents and the public. The school is developing practical climate literacy modules with corporate and charitable partners with the aim of empowering participants to become agents for positive change. There will be gap year and summer placement opportunities enabling students can continue to engage with climate change solutions outside the school.

Friends of City Gardens is a volunteer community group which supports the City Corporation’s gardens to enhance biodiversity and improve access to green spaces. One of their activities is on-site leaf composting where volunteers collect and compost leaves. One site where they work is Bunhill Fields.

The Friends  of City Gardens estimates that producing leave compost locally instead of sourcing it from external sites saves approximately 100kg CO2 per year. They have used the carbon emissions estimate of a new diesel van (161.2 gms CO2/km) (European Environment Agency figure), against the number of van round trips they make when they are not composting locally.

This is a very good example of how local organisations and communities can take climate action and collaborate with the City’s Climate Action Strategy. Residents and organisations can simply reviewing the carbon emissions from their routine tasks and by making small but cost-effective changes raise awareness and contribute to reaching net zero.

The Imagine Golden Lane project is an initiative that came out of the lockdown and focuses on tackling climate change and biodiversity loss on the estate. Residents met regularly to discuss how to take climate action and came up with fifty suggestions for improvement. Their four key areas of work are:

  • Cycling and walking
  • Energy conservation
  • Waste, recycling and the circular economy
  • Biodiversity and greening

One success story relates to cycling and walking. Residents published the Healthy and Safe report containing feedback and suggestions on improving cycling on the estate. They bid for funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy Fund and were awarded £50,000 to enable them to install new bike racks and refurbish existing facilities. The project is now about to make a planning application for installation of new bike spaces and secure lockers. The proposals are on the Imagine Golden Lane bike project website.

The Livery Action Climate Group assists the City of London Livery Companies and Guilds in managing their impact on climate change and the environment by reducing carbon emissions. 

The Group provides invaluable support for Livery Companies to achieve their net-zero goals through Guidance Notes, exemplary Climate Action Plans and other resources created from the broad range of expertise among the Group. It has educational materials and facilitate mutual self-help for Livery Companies and Guilds to grow their knowledge and expertise of practical measures to manage their impact on climate change. This helps Companies  influence others in their associated professions and trades on mitigating climate change impacts, as well as the tools to engage with schools and other outreach activities.

Members of the Aldgate Community Gardens Club, on the Aldgate Estate are building a new roof top garden. 

The roof garden, run by volunteers, will create a green oasis that has practical and tangible ecological benefits. Producing sustainable low-cost healthy food (herbs, British and Bengali fruit and vegetables)  will promote biodiversity and attract insects as will building bird boxes.