Keeping London at the forefront of global business
working with and for the whole UK
Harnessing the potential of a Just Transition
17 March 2021
The Just Transition campaign has provided a framework for London’s businesses to demonstrate their green credentials and become a driving force behind tackling climate change. The Just Transition campaign aims to ensure that low-income communities are included in the policymaking process and benefit from the green transition.
The impacts of climate change have real impact on the material and public health factors of London’s most vulnerable. Businesses have the opportunity to create decarbonisation policies that are inclusive and effective, collaborating across sectors, public and private and putting London’s economy and the livelihoods of Londoners at the forefront.
London First is committed to helping to convene and catalyse these conversations. Our Net Zero Carbon Working Group was established last year to explore how businesses can play their part in ensuring London becomes net zero by 2030. We published a business manifesto on decarbonisation which outlines our asks for the next mayoral term and encompasses social value. London has been at the forefront of innovation across the private sectors, and now we are presented with the opportunity to become leaders in tackling an international crisis which knows no regional bounds.
To ensure that our policy thinking is broad and inclusive, we have been working closely with London Citizens UK to explore what the role of business is within a Just Transition. Citizens UK’s Just Transition’s campaign is asking for 60,000 new green jobs and apprenticeships, with a focus on low income and diverse communities, and an end to fuel poverty by 2030 by upgrading 100,000 fuel poor homes. Citizens UK have presented their findings in a recent report with the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) which outlines how businesses can work alongside the public sector in the next mayoral term to deliver these asks. We have embedded the Just Transition calls into our manifesto, and we are continuing to work with Citizens UK and our members to expand on our thinking in the lead up to COP26 in Glasgow this November.
This is, of course, an integral part of national government policy too. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy has outlined that London has the lowest territorial carbon emissions per person “due to the urban nature of the transport system, a high population density and lower level of large industrial facilities” (BEIS2020)’. The IPPR report argued that whilst COVID has exposed many inequalities within the city, it has presented a new opportunity for investment in new green infrastructure to create a city that ‘prioritises public and active transport, with more room for people and less for cars’. In the lead up to COP26 this year, London’s businesses will no doubt show leadership and innovation in bringing forward new ideas which have the potential to transform society for people across the capital.
There are several ways businesses can get involved in the Just Transition. Investors can work collaboratively across local, regional, and national government to embed the Just Transition within climate policies. Businesses can create robust environmental policies which show how their work will tackle climate change and enhance community cohesion. Across the financial, real estate and infrastructure industries, investors can put their assets into green bonds, retrofit housing, and work with the public sector to ensure an equal green transition for Londoners. By taking the step to invest in a green transition, businesses can show how they can be a force for good. Furthermore, businesses can sign up to the Task Force on Climate-related financial Disclosures (TCFD) and explore how they can show how their work ties into a Just Transition.
You can read the full Citizens UK report here and support the Just Transition campaign here.
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Our members include over 200 of the capital’s leading employers across a wide range of sectors, with a common commitment to our capital.