The City of London Corporation has laid out key green targets including making the Square Mile net zero by 2040, saying it has a “responsibility” to be a sustainability leader.

The corporation has published its corporate plan for 2024 to 2029, which details the environmental progress it has made and the eco targets it aims to hit.

Chris Hayward, policy chairman, said: “This corporate plan provides direction and leadership on the issues that matter, including tackling the climate crisis; growing the economy to support jobs and businesses and fund public services.”

Along with being the governing body for the Square Mile, home to international business giants, the corporation protects and conserves 19 major green spaces in London and Southeast England – including Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest – and around 180 smaller ones. These include wildlife habitats and national nature reserves.

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“We have a responsibility to ensure that we act as a leader on environmental sustainability and strive to enhance it in all aspects of how we work. Climate action, resilience, air quality, and sustainability are all facets of ambitious targets for the entire City to be net zero by 2040,” it says.

The London targets include reaching net zero in its direct emissions in its operations by 2027, cutting emissions in line with the 2040 net zero target, progressing towards WHO air quality guidelines, cutting energy consumption and increasing its use of renewable energy.

Green achievements to date reached include cutting annual carbon emissions by 31% and energy consumption by 21% between 2018 and 2019, and 2021 and 2022 across the City.

London has also removed around 16,000 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere a year, has been using 100% renewable electricity since 2018 and uses the first fully electric fleet of refuse collection vehicles in the country.

Earlier this month, Shirley Rodrigues, London’s deputy mayor for environment and energy, said that although the capital’s environment strategy is making the city healthier, a number of challenges continue to persist.

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