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Our work on the green and fair recovery

The LSDC is working to deliver a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in London. London is characterised by the unique breadth and depth of its intellectual, creative, financial and cultural capital. Helping London to harness these attributes will not only serve the capital but also benefit the rest of the UK, aiding the recovery everywhere and enhancing our country’s future international competitiveness. 

Resilience to future crises will be paramount as the climate and ecological crises continue to deepen, posing an even greater threat to lives and our way of life. Similarly the existing inequalities of poverty and disadvantage are likely to have deepened as a result of the pandemic. London and the UK's recovery must therefore be a sustainable and productive one, if it is to be successful at all

Our work, highlighted below, will focus on how London can achieve a successful recovery.

LSDC Insights paper

The role of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in London’s fair and green recovery 

The LSDC has published an insights paper on how the SDGs can help London’s fair and green recovery. We believe the SDGs can provide a strategic framework enabling decision-makers to take a joined up approach to issues including inequalities, healthcare, housing, jobs, the environment and more.  Our paper makes five recommendations:  

  1. London needs more affordable, high quality and energy-efficient homes:  The UK government should devolve fiscal and regulatory powers, so London can scale up its programmes to retrofit existing homes. 
  2. Enhance urban green spaces:  Government should ensure sufficient funding, and the Mayor and boroughs should make permanent the Streetspace works to form a network of greener public realm.   
  3. Invest in the green, ethical business of the future:  Government should ensure any stimulus packages are accompanied by binding and measurable environmental targets.  
  4. We need a Future Finance Facility to unlock green investment:  The Mayor should continue to work in partnership with stakeholders to leverage private finance. 
  5. The SDGS should support London’s recovery planning:  Decision-makers should use the SDGs framework (adapted to London) to take integrated approaches, use indicator data in evaluations, and ensure sustainability issues are factored into all decision-making. 

Letter to the Prime Minister


LSDC letter to PM

On 23 June the LSDC wrote to Prime Minister, Boris Johnson asking for 4 things to help deliver a sustainable recovery:

1. Liberate London's ability to innovate through regulatory reform - especially in the interconnected areas of clean tech and housing. Increasing London's control over energy efficiency and building regulations leading to faster and greater progress whilst lowering long-term energy costs.

2. Give the Mayor and boroughs power to retain and raise more finance for investing in business and communities - London will do better, faster with more devolved powers. Retaining and controlling a greater proportion of business rates would allow for eg targeted support of London's clean tech sector catalysing green growth across the UK. Fiscal devolution would also enable London to invest in London's poorest communities and deliver enhanced wellbeing

3. Help unlock the potential for London to be the pre-eminent finance hub to build back better - for London, the UK and the world. The City is well placed to deliver large-scale investment in new businesses and jobs, and new spatial and infrastructure developments, with a zero carbon, circular economy at their core

4. Embed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within the recovery package - The SDGs have been developed because of the need for a coherent, internationally agreed framework that integrates economic, environmental and social policy. This is a unique opportunity to incorporate the SDGs at the heart of recovery planning

Together these 4 pillars could form the foundation of an exciting new future for London - and the rest of the UK. This can be the moment we fundamentally restructured the way we do business, transforming the fortunes of the present generation and many generations to come

Read the letter in full 



London Climate Action Week

As part of this years London Climate Action Week digital, the LSDC teamed up with the Institute of Engineering and Technology to deliver a webinar focussed on how to achieve a sustainable, fair and green recovery using the retrofit challenge as a case study. Commissioner Paul Toyne who leads our work on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was joined by speakers from the UK Green Buildings Council, The Green Finance Institute, the Greater London Authority and the Retrofit Academy Centre of Excellence to debate the possibilities and challenges of large scale retrofit of housing across London.

London Climate Action Week

Retrofit programmes can offer multiple positive outcomes and when assessed using the SDGs as a framework the tangible benefits of such an approach can be quantified and evaluated. The debate centred on current practice, policy requirements, financial stimulus and skills development.

To view a recording of the event please follow this link: 




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