Southwark council announces plans for community fund for carbon reduction projects

A South London council has announced that housing developers must contribute to a new community fund if they do not reduce carbon emissions to an acceptable level.

Money paid into The Green Buildings Fund, set up by Southwark Council, will go towards carbon reduction projects.

This includes the decarbonisation and retrofitting of community buildings, schools and council housing.

Councillor Helen Dennis, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency & Sustainable Development, said: “The council is firmly committed to a “just transition”, ensuring that all our residents, community groups, businesses and schools benefit from measures to tackle the climate emergency. 

“This new fund will have a relentless focus on the reduction of carbon emissions, and should also result in energy savings – a win-win for our community. 

“It is right that we require developers in our borough to pay the true cost of net zero, and this is why we are also launching a review to establish a local carbon price for Southwark, building on our existing tariff which was set in line with the London Plan.”

When the plan is adopted, the new energy policy will require all major residential development to reduce onsite operational carbon emissions by 100 per cent according to building regulation standards.

Major non-residential developments must reduce carbon emissions onsite by a minimum of 40 per cent.

The council’s current carbon offset price to developers is £2,850 per ton of carbon, which is £95 per tonne of carbon over a 30-year period.

The carbon offset price is currently under review.

Cllr Dennis added: “Delivering on-site reductions in carbon emissions remains the ultimate goal, and we will continue to send that message loudly and clearly to everyone who wants to build in Southwark.

“In the run up to COP26 and beyond, we will continue to call on the government to recognise that much greater public investment is needed to supplement our work and our aspirations for everyone who lives, works and visits Southwark.

“But I am excited by the potential this new fund already has to help decarbonise some of our borough’s important community buildings and take vital steps towards our ambitions for the future.” 

As of August 2021, developers in Southwark have contributed more than £2 million to the fund.

Research commissioned by the council found that buildings in Southwark are responsible for 79% of carbon emissions.



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