London to get 'flagship' low carbon zones

by Micheal Smith (Veshengro)

Boris Johnson has pledged GBP 3 million to develop ten flagship Low Carbon Zones (LCZ) - aimed at creating jobs and cutting carbon emissions.

Speaking at Prince Charles' May Day Summit on Climate Change in May 2009 London's mayor formally invited applications for the LCZ by committing at least £200,000 funding for each one.

The zones will be funded by the London Development Agency's recently approved budget for climate change activities and private sponsorship.

Mr Johnson has pledged to cut emissions in London by 60% by 2025 and hopes the zones will play a part in this commitment.

He said: "I am fully signed-up to taking the necessary steps to combat climate change and ensure we protect our planet.

"By doing so, there is great potential to deliver 'green collar' jobs in the capital and I am determined to pursue this opportunity aggressively."

The Zones are expected to include a range of carbon-cutting measures in homes, neighborhoods, businesses and public buildings such as:

  • Home insulation
  • Smart meters to help people regulate their energy use
  • Retrofit packages for public and commercial buildings
  • Decentralized energy plants to produce heat and electricity locally
  • Renewable energy sources such as solar panels
  • State of the art facilities to use waste as a clean fuel source
The Low Carbon Zones could be as small as a couple of streets, or encompass areas of 1000 buildings.

The above ideas are great and many have been talked by me here again and again, such as the decentralized energy plants. It is about time someone took this and ran with it. Applause for Mayor Johnson for even suggesting it.

What must and should be considered is to make the homes and business in the entire Greater London Region, for which Mayor Johnson is responsible, “green”, something that was being called for by the “Grand Designs Live” Show in April 2009.

Instead of, like the current UK government, talking of “Eco Towns” we should, nay must, “green” existing homes – and build new homes that are “green” from the start, as we do rather have a housing shortage – and not go out and spend millions on developing so-called eco towns” that are nothing but gimmicks and which will serve no real purpose whatsoever. But, oh yes, it all looks good on paper. Makes Brown & Co look ever so green.

Go for it, Boris! Let's see what we can accomplish. The only problem that I can see is that 3 million GBP is not going to be enough by a long run.

© 2009