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New buildings in the capital to be carbon zero by 2030

Words: Laura Edgar

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is one of 19 mayors from countries across the world to have committed to ensuring new buildings in their cities are net zero carbon by 2030.

This forms part of the mayors’ plans to cut greenhouse gases significantly.

The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration also commits the leaders (see table), who represent 130 million urban citizens, to ensuring all buildings in cities, whether new or old, meet net-zero carbon standards by 2050.

Cities that have signed the pledge:

  • Copenhagen
  • Johannesburg
  • London
  • Los Angeles
  • Montreal
  • New York City
  • Newburyport
  • Paris
  • Portland
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Santa Monica
  • Stockholm
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo
  • Toronto
  • Tshwane
  • Vancouver
  • Washington D.C

A statement from the leaders explains that net-zero buildings use energy “ultra-efficiently” and meet any remaining energy needs from renewable sources.

“Such bold commitments, made ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, are essential steps in delivering on the highest goals of the Paris Agreement and keeping global temperature rise below 1.5°C.”

Buildings in urban areas are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

In London, Los Angeles and Paris, buildings account for well over 70 per cent of the cities’ overall emissions, the statement continues.

Khan said: ““My strategy to improve London’s environment includes some of the world’s most ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions from our homes and workplaces. This includes expanding my existing standard of zero carbon new homes to apply to all new buildings in 2019. We want to make London a zero carbon city by 2050 and we’re working hard to ensure its buildings are energy efficient and supplied with clean energy sources. I look forward to collaborating with other cities on our shared vision of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

The commitment will see the cities work with state and regional governments, and the private sector, to drive put the pledge into action. It calls on national governments for equal action, too.

The pledge is part of the World Green Building Council’s net zero carbon building commitment for businesses, cities, states and regions.

The cities that make this commitment will:

  • Establish a roadmap for the commitment to reach net zero carbon buildings.
  • Develop a suite of supporting incentives and programmes.
  • Report annually on progress towards meeting our targets, and evaluate the feasibility of reporting on emissions beyond operational carbon (such as refrigerants).

The declaration can be read here (pdf).

Image credit | iStock