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Speakers at our May 'Green Energy and Sustainability Planning' 2021 forum

Future Cities Forum is delighted that the Infrastructure & Projects Authority, Camden and Lewisham Councils along with investor and asset manager Amber Infrastructure will be speaking at our May 'Energy and Sustainability 2021' forum.

Karl Fitzgerald, Development Director at the I&PA will be describing how infrastructure planning around energy, housing and transport needs to be joined-up if Net Zero ambitions are to be approached - especially where there are new settlements.

'The key', Karl says,' is to find willing stake-holders, who are prepared to drive up the quality of thinking, planning and implementation. The themes of Net Zero, bio-diversity net gain, and natural capital are all relatively new in planning and infrastructure terms. There is no pattern book (around infrastructure and sustainability) but we need to establish one. It is only by getting under the skin (of these issues), getting stuck in to projects, and learning by example that we can move forward. The range of stake-holders involved in planning the housing and supporting infrastructure of energy, utilities and transport for the Oxford to Cambridge Arc is massive. This also includes DEFRA, Natural England and the Environment Agency as well as the county councils, transport providers, the LEPs, developers and the utility companies. Eventually, when things move to a statutory level, decisions will fall to the local authorities.'

Amber Infrastructure, Principal, Peter Radford, will be discussing MEEF, the new investment fund, established by the GLA with funding from the European Commission, which will help achieve London's ambition of being a zero carbon city by 2050.

Last December, the Mayor of London's Energy Efficiency Fund ('MEEF') managed by Amber Fund Management Limited, received an additional commitment of £8.2 million of European Regional Development Fund ('ERDF') monies from the Mayor of London, two years into its five year investment period. The ERDF's total commitment in MEEF now totals £51,2 million.

Amber Infrastructure states that MEEF to date has committed 93% of its original ERDF capital allocation and has mobilised over £250 million of capital, reducing London's C02 emissions by over 12,500 tonnes per year and saving over 31 GWh of energy per annum. The additional allocation of public sector funding from the Mayor of London, it says, is a clear recognition of MEEF's success in supporting London's Green Recovery and achieving its performance targets. MEEF has ensured that the Mayor's commitments go further by match funding private sector financing from MEEF's consortium of commercial banks, while also attracting other sources of public funding, such as the UK Government's Heat Networks Investment Project, into London's low carbon projects.

It adds:

'MEEF has agreed loans to both SMEs and to the public sector including to finance electric vehicle charging infrastructure, district heating schemes as well as energy performance contracts. MEEF is keen to support local authorities and other public sector bodies in tackling their ageing estates by facilitating investment in retrofit schemes to improve energy efficiency and lower operating and maintenance costs.'

At Camden Council, Cllr Adam Harrison, who is Cabinet Member for Improving Camden's Environment and for 'Sustainable Camden', will be talking about measures the borough, (which stretches from Holborn and St Giles in the south through Bloomsbury to Highgate, Hampstead and Fortune Green in the north), is taking to reduce carbon emissions.

The Camden Transport Strategy 2019 to 2041 states that:

'Camden must come to enjoy the healthiest, most sustainable, and most efficient forms of transport. Achieving this will include improving air quality, personal health, inequality and community cohesion.'

Reducing the dominance of motor vehicles and encouraging active travel and - with TfL - electric buses, it says, will be a key part of this. Acknowledging the pressures placed on transport by internet shopping, the Council also committed (pre-Covid-19) to 'future proof the city to better prepare for, rather than reactively respond to, the rapid growth in technology for mobility services.'

Emma Talbot is Director of Planning at Lewisham Council and will be discussing the measures that the Council will be taking in the borough to tackle climate emergency. In February this year, the Council successfully bid for £2,983,428 funding under the Government's Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme which will fund energy works in council buildings including the Town Hall Chambers and Hither Green Cemetery. It has also successfully bid for £825,000 funding under the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery, which will deliver insulation and window upgrades to 165 Lewisham Homes properties.

The Lewisham's South London Energy Efficiency Partnership has been supporting nearly three thousand low income and vulnerable households with practical advice on staying warm and cutting the cost of energy. The Council secured £435,000 external funding in 20/21 for fuel poverty advice services across South London.

Lewisham Council is participating this year in the Solar Together 2019 Scheme, promoting a bulk purchasing model to reduce the cost for residents in buying solar panels, while a new Parks and Open Spaces Strategy has been produced aligning how blue and green infrastructure contributes to achieving climate and wider environmental benefits.


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