'Zero Carbon London', the latest research report from the NLA, takes a step back to examine how London is addressing the climate emergency. The report unpacks key barriers, such as lack of green finance and policy and regulation that is not 'fit for purpose', while also identifying priorities for the built environment sector to ensure zero carbon targets are met. Some of these measures include adopting a circular economy approach, increasing green infrastructure and prioritising retrofit, rather than new build, whenever possible.
The insight study concludes by showcasing a series of ambitious projects that are leading the way in terms of sustainable credentials and carbon reduction, including our own Melfield Gardens scheme in LB Lewisham, an intergenerational housing development designed to a Passivhaus standard.
As Sunand Prasad, the Chair of the UK Green Building Council, reminded us at the report's launch this morning, no matter the deadline we agree to reach zero carbon – whether 2030, 2040 or 2050 – it will never happen without first identifying a collective path (certainly as a city, but also as a country) to reach those targets. A 'route map' for zero carbon has never really been formalised, laying out a vision and identifying what the incremental changes would be to reach that future. Although many groups are contributing their own suggested pathways, such as LETI and RIBA, this likely needs some top-down influence, such as a robust policy framework, as well.