Yesterday's launch of Future of London’s Achieving Net Zero report was a good opportunity to pause and think about the challenges we face. Many local authorities have declared a climate emergency and we need to act quickly to reduce our energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
As daunting as it all is, the event was full of ideas in terms of how we can collaboratively find a solution. I was invited to join the panel, which comprised people from the public, private and third sector, and share my thoughts. Here are some of the points I took away from the discussion.
Firstly, we need to define what zero carbon actually means and then develop a roadmap to achieve our targets. At the same time, we must not forget the other aspects of sustainable development and think of creating inclusive places that work for all.
Will we be able to change our behaviour? The example of the current pandemics that we as a society are able to achieve things which seemed unthinkable only a year ago. Tougher policies and penalties in combination with long-term savings will certainly help. Nothing stops us, however, to rethink our approach to using existing buildings and commissioning new ones by taking into account whole life-cycle carbon emissions.
At Montagu Evans, we take our responsibility seriously and plan to embark as a firm on our own journey towards zero carbon. Watch this space.
"The climate emergency requires an urgent response. Covid-19 may have forced a reduction in carbon emissions, but 2020 was still the joint hottest year on record. With our leaders now taking this seriously, the capital’s policymakers and frontline planning, housing, regeneration and infrastructure practitioners will play an influential role in delivering change."