The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has today announced a new £500m fund to help organisations achieve net zero by 2030.
The Green Finance Fund will support projects delivering benefits in either energy efficiency, clean transport or renewable energy and is open to organisations in the GLA Group, any of London’s 32 local authorities, social housing providers, NHS bodies, universities and colleges.
Organisations can bid for loans of £1m to £75m, with flexible loan terms and lower interest rates than the Government’s Public Works Loan Board public sector lending scheme. The funds can be used for capital expenditure, with projects that will be operational within the next three years being prioritised.
One of the first projects to benefit from Green Finance Funding is the London Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) has secured funding to install solar panel membranes on the roof of the stadium. This project is expected to generate approximately 10 per cent of the stadium’s current electricity usage and is forecast to save 270 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum, the equivalent of making 70 homes carbon neutral.
The Mayor has also agreed to make up to £34.2 million from the fund available for Transport for London (TfL) to finance various projects in the next three years. These include new LED lights at Underground stations, replacement LED streetlights, new solar panels at Tube depots and energy efficient improvements to TfL buildings across the city. These projects are estimated to save at least 8,900 equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
The Green Finance Fund was one of the recommendations from the Green Finance Institute (GFI) report Mobilising Capital at Scale for Net-Zero Projects. Following recommendations made by the London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC) in their ‘Financing for a Future London’ report in 2020, the Mayor commissioned the GFI to advise on the best way to structure a fund to support partner organisations. City Hall worked closely with the GFI as well as London Councils and 3Ci.
The Green Finance Fund is just one of the many ways the Mayor is enabling organisations and businesses to move towards green forms of energy and clean transportation. Sadiq is also providing up to £5m to extend his flagship Low Carbon Accelerator programmes until March 2024. Since 2016 they have helped organisations to upgrade thousands of buildings, leveraging more than £200m in investment, with a projected saving of around 50,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year and millions of pounds saved on energy bills. A successor programme is being planned to support the ongoing development of projects to March 2026.
Today the Mayor also announced the recipients of his London Community Energy Fund’s sixth round. More than £400,000 has been allocated to 14 community energy groups for 28 projects supporting the development and delivery of community-owned energy saving projects.
Earlier this month, the Mayor announced the London Climate Resilience Review to explore how London can be better adapted to climate change impacts. This independent review will look at the actions needed at local, regional and national levels to ensure organisations can work to reduce climate impacts on people, infrastructure, the environment and the economy in London. The Review chair, Emma Howard Boyd will launch the call for evidence on Thursday 29th June as part of London Climate Action Week.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m committed to making London net zero by 2030, a target that is achievable if we make bold decisions together now. That is why I’m pleased to announce the Green Finance Fund will lend up to £500 million of investment to low carbon, green partnership projects.
“We’ve already allocated funding to some exciting projects around London and I’m looking forward to seeing what other green initiatives we can support. The fund is open for applications now so don’t delay. By working closely together on energy efficiency projects we can help build a better London for everyone, a cleaner and greener city for all.”