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London borough eyes issue of climate bonds to fund green projects

Camden Council has become the latest authority to announce that it is looking to issue climate bonds as a way of financing a range of environmental projects across the borough.

The move was discussed at a meeting this week (11 October) of full council, which considered ways to tackle the climate crisis ahead of this year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).

The projects to be funded through the bonds are expected to include a new generation of solar power in Camden.

Last month five councils from England and Wales - Blaenau Gwent, Cotswold, Eastbourne, Islington and Lewes - announced that they had become part of the Green Finance Institute and Abundance Investment’s Local Climate Bond campaign.

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The move followed successful pilot issuances last year by Warrington and West Berkshire councils.

These investments are designed to allow local authorities to raise capital to fund specific “green” initiatives in their neighbourhoods, from wind farms to solar panel installations, rewilding and electric vehicle plans, through a regulated crowdfunding model. Local residents can invest from as little as £5.

Cllr Georgia Gould, Leader of the Council, said: “With each day that passes the need for a decisive and collective international response to the climate and ecological emergency becomes increasingly and perilously overdue. Since 2005 Camden’s borough wide CO2 emissions have reduced by 43%, however, our hard work must continue with urgency if we want to protect our planet and our future generations. The realities of the climate crisis are already being seen in Camden with significant flooding this summer.

“I am so proud of the groundswell of resident and community action taking place across the borough and the hundreds of organisations joining our growing climate alliance. But we can’t face this alone and I will be at COP with local leaders from around the UK calling for a massive investment in a green new deal to insulate homes, reduce fuel bills, create jobs and help save our planet.”

Cllr Adam Harrison, Cabinet Member for a Sustainable Camden, said: “Put simply, the climate emergency is the most serious threat to our planet and we as a community must do everything in our power to tackle this growing threat. Camden is a leading local authority on the climate agenda - we have committed to do all that we can to make Camden a zero-carbon borough by 2030, twenty years ahead of national targets set within the UK Climate Change Act. However, we must all go much further and quicker if we want to make a real difference, and we can only do that through a joined-up approach with communities and organisations across Camden.”

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