Climate bonds a new way of funding

FORUM: The council is to launch Camden Climate Bonds, ‘a new way to help finance different environmental activity in the borough’ explains Adam Harrison

Friday, 14th January

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By CLLR ADAM HARRISON

OVER the last decade carbon emissions in Camden have fallen by more than a third. But we know we need go much further.

Camden Council has declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency, held a citizens’ assembly on climate, and adopted a new Climate Action Plan.

We have pledged to play our part in achieving a net-zero Camden by 2030.

Decarbonising transport is essential to achieving this and, indeed, the citizens’ assembly recommended greater use of electric transport.

In reflection of this, electric vehicle permits for residents and businesses in Camden cost less than their petrol and diesel equivalents.

And our work to roll out electric vehicle charging points (EVCPs) is underpinned by councillors’ decision in 2019 to vote in favour of a dedicated EVCP action plan.

We currently have 249 “lamp column charge points” (which you may see built into existing street lamps, with a small blue light on), 72 fast charge points and 11 rapid charge points (both of which are stand-alone infrastructure).

These numbers place Camden fifth in the country in terms of EVCPs. And I am pleased to say we are further installing 162 fast-charge points over the next six months.

We are also soon to trial 60 “STEP” chargers in the Parliament Hill area. These innovative points lie flush with the pavement when not in use.

The trial will enable us to understand whether this technology can help meet the charging needs for residents who park their electric cars on the street but lack access to a home charge point; a problem residents have often raised with us and to which we are seeking a workable solution.

However funding remains a big challenge.

Direct government support for EVCPs appears to be drying up. And ministers are continuing to deny Transport for London the backing it needs to keep London moving.

As some of Camden’s transport funding comes from City Hall, we risk having less available to devote to priorities such as EVCPs.

And with the council’s general funding slashed 50 per cent – first by the Liberal Democrat / Tory coalition and latterly under Boris Johnson’s Conservatives – we have less room for manoeuvre overall as we work also to keep other services open, from libraries and community centres to supporting adult social care and children’s services.

Still, across much of the world it is municipal government that is leading the way and stepping up where national administrations are holding back.

For that reason I am excited that the council is to launch Camden Climate Bonds – a new way to help finance different environmental activity in the borough, including potentially funding new EVCPs.

Residents will be able to acquire a bond on which there is a return but whose funding goes towards directly tackling the climate emergency.

Working together in this way is powerful and I look forward to continuing to do so with Camdeners in the year ahead.

You can find out more about Camden’s EVCPs, how to register and use our EVCPs on our website at: www.camden.gov.uk/electric-vehicles

• Cllr Adam Harrison is Cabinet Member for a Sustainable Camden.

 

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