Southwark launches new Green Buildings Fund

20 October 2021

Southwark Council has announced that housing developers must contribute to The Green Buildings Fund, a new community fund for the borough, if they cannot meet the borough’s aspirations to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Research commissioned by the council found that buildings in Southwark are responsible for 79 per cent of carbon emissions. The Green Buildings Fund will focus on delivering key carbon reduction projects, including the decarbonisation and retrofitting of community buildings, schools and council housing.

The move follows the council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency in 2019 and its commitment to review planning policies to help meet its carbon neutral aspirations. The council’s work to date has already seen a 37 per cent reduction in carbon from 2008.

As of August 2021, developers in Southwark have contributed more than £2 million to the fund, as council criteria mean they must further prioritise the reduction of carbon emitted from new development schemes. Ongoing plans mean the council will help ensure developers build homes that meet its expectation to make Southwark the greenest and cleanest it can be by 2030.

Councillor Helen Dennis, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency and Sustainable Development, said:  “I’m delighted to be launching our new Green Buildings Fund with a focus on the retrofit and decarbonisation of Southwark’s community assets and council housing stock. 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. 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 COP 26 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.”

Page last updated: 20 October 2021

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