Accelerating climate innovation in London (briefing paper)

Accelerating climate innovation in London

Achieving London’s net zero carbon target by 2030 will need concerted investment by government and require all business sectors and households to do more to reduce their environmental footprint. But it also creates new economic opportunities – specifically for innovators to develop, demonstrate and scale-up specialist climate solutions that drive the city’s transformation.  

These innovations have a vital role to play in achieving the ambitions set out in London’s Green New Deal mission – doubling the size of London’s green economy by 2030. London has all the ingredients to support climate innovations but barriers to successfully starting, commercialising, and deploying climate innovations still exist. In supporting the burgeoning climate innovation ecosystem, London has the opportunity to be a world-leading city in low carbon sustainable living – improving the health, wellbeing and prosperity of a growing population and enabling a just transition to a green economy while also building resilience through adaptation measures.

This paper outlines the need for a broad range of climate innovations in the context of achieving London’s net zero ambitions and addressing key environmental challenge areas. It also provides an overview of the global, UK and London context in relation to the ambitions to reach net zero and to adapt to a changing climate and highlights the range of environmental and socio-economic co-benefits resulting from implementing and mainstreaming new climate innovations. It concludes by reviewing the support required by innovators operating in this space, including specific challenges at the firm level for developing and deploying different types of solutions. 

The intention of this paper is that it acts as a starting point for further in-depth analysis of the climate innovation landscape in different sub-sectors, along with their current strengths and development needs. It also sets the scene for further analysis on learnings from the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how these can be applied to the climate crisis. Who is this paper for? The envisaged audiences are stakeholders promoting and supporting climate innovation in London as well as entrepreneurs and innovators. 


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This paper was authored by Danielle Davis, intern at CCCI and MSc student at Imperial College London.