To mark London Climate Action Week, BusinessLDN and Arup have today (Friday) announced a new partnership to explore the benefits and challenges of creating a collective business-led Carbon Offset Fund to support the Mayor of London’s ambition to be a zero-carbon city.

By convening and listening to leading industry figures and key London stakeholders, the work will look to set out the mechanics of a combined pool of individual organisations’ carbon offset funds. This pool would collectively support a diverse range of offsetting projects in London and contribute to the delivery of longer-term carbon removals.

The project aims to ensure businesses have a level playing field when it comes to rules and regulations so that they have equal and fair opportunities in their carbon-offsetting efforts. The creation of a London Carbon Offset Fund, available to any organisation, creates more opportunities to share best practice for all businesses across the capital to help promote climate action and wider sustainable co-benefits.

Ioanna Mytilinaiou, Programme Director for Sustainability at BusinessLDN, said: “Establishing a business-led Carbon Offset Fund would bolster the capital’s competitiveness, create jobs for Londoners and support businesses in meeting their net-zero targets.

Through collaborative working, we can provide a transparent and quantifiable source of funding for carbon removal projects and showcase how London can lead the world in this field.

This is why we are looking forward to working with Arup to unleash London’s full potential in the efforts to reach net zero, which will benefit the capital and the rest of the UK.”

Stephen Thompson, Carbon Offsetting Co-Lead at Arup, said: “A responsible offsetting strategy is a critical component of many net zero commitments. Offsetting residual greenhouse gas emissions with high quality credits and as soon as possible removals, alongside deep emissions reductions, is essential to balance the net zero equation before full decarbonisation is possible.

The transition to significantly upscale our future removal capacity needs to start today. Through our consultation and partnership with industry, our aim is to create a connected vision with new mechanisms to bring together the interests of commercial organisations and local authorities.

“This partnership looks to build on Arup’s recent research and guidance created on carbon offsetting and pricing and our wider decarbonisation expertise. Working collaboratively, we will explore how we can collectively shape investment in responsible offsetting to maximise the opportunity to tackle climate change in a locally relevant and socially valuable way.”

 Net zero is the first milestone that we need to achieve globally to mitigate the impacts of climate change. When an organisation or project has reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5˚C, any residual GHG emissions should be responsibly removed from the atmosphere. This is the important balancing element of the equation to achieve net zero.