The Mayor of London has declared a climate emergency and has set an ambition for London to be net zero-carbon, which means that all new major developments must play a part by meeting the net zero carbon requirements in the London Plan.
The London Plan contains a range of energy policies that new major developments are required to comply with. This includes a net zero carbon target for major residential developments, which has applied since October 2016 and will shortly be extended to major non-residential developments. The target requires a minimum on-site carbon reduction to be achieved and allows for any carbon shortfall to be paid as a cash-in-lieu contribution into the relevant local authority's carbon offset fund. The London Plan requires all major development proposals to submit a detailed energy assessment to demonstrate how the zero-carbon target will be met within the framework of the energy hierarchy, and the Mayor monitors progress against this. Guidance is available to support planning applicants and local authorities in complying with the Mayor’s energy policies.