Grasping Political Challenges and Opportunities at London Climate Action Week 2024


Nick Mabey, Founder & Chair LCAW Steering Group celebrates the opening day of London Climate Action Week taking place 22-30 June 2024.

Explore the official programme and booking links here.

This week sees the sixth year of London Climate Action Week (LCAW) #LCAW2024 since it was launched by E3G and the Mayor of London in 2019. LCAW has now firmly established itself as one of the largest events in the global climate calendar with over 300 events and over 50000 attendees from around the world.

The quality and number of LCAW 2024 events demonstrates the depth of climate change expertise and the global reach of London-based organisations. But providing a platform for announcements, debate and mobilisation was never the end goal of London Climate Action Week. London stakeholders who informed the LCAW ethos were very clear that celebrating success was nice, but goal must be to move concrete climate action forward, resulting in LCAW’s mission of “harnessing the power of London for global climate action”.

LCAW 2024 looks to live up to this founding mission by rising to the unique challenges, and opportunities, of this year of elections. A year where European elections saw gains for parties more sceptical of climate action. When UK elections have seen fractures in bipartisan support for net zero, and where the spectre of a future Trump Presidency is looming over everything.

Whatever the political weather, this is also a year where countries need to start preparing their next climate targets to submit to the UN in 2025. Targets which will in large part determine whether the world can keep climate change below safe levels.

LCAW 2024 aims to kick start the cooperation, politics and diplomacy needed to deliver ambitious and deliverable climate targets in 2025.

The inaugural State of Climate Politics Forum will host a range of international high-level speakers examining the politics and geopolitics of delivering ambition in 2025, and how to sustain it through the next turbulent decade. The practical diplomacy of delivering ambition will be discussed at Countdown to COP 29 and Mission 2025 will be launched as a new global multistakeholder campaign for climate ambition.

Accelerating the global energy transition will be the focus of the Powering Past Coal Alliance High-Level Dialogue at the iconic Battersea Power Station, and the Bill Gates hosted Breakthrough Energy Summit will promote the next generation of energy technologies.

LCAW 2024 will particularly focus on building confidence in the availability of affordable climate finance, as this is the critical factor developing countries need if they are to put forward ambitious emission reduction targets in 2025.

We will host over 100 events addressing all aspects of climate financing, including what London needs to do to keep ahead in the global competition lead the development of climate finance markets.

LCAW will see the first De-risking Summit launch a process for aligning the global insurance industry to deliver products to derisk transition finance and provide sustainable and affordable protection to the most vulnerable.

London will demonstrate its role as a major global hub of clean tech innovation by hosting wide range of impact investor, venture capital and start-up support events such as the Reset-Connect’s Pitch and Invest, the Blue Earth Forum and the Undaunted Innovation Hub attracting new ventures from around the world.

Despite being on track to close its last coal fired power station this year, the UK has a large policy gap in its net zero delivery plan and an urgent need to ramp up investment. This gap is examined in new research launched at LCAW and will be the focus of major events like Climate Innovation Forum, PRI Investment Summit and IIGCC Net Zero Summit.

London has the largest concentration of climate professionals in the world and a highly ambitious net zero target for 2030. London can be a unique motor for UK decarbonisation and competitiveness, but too often debates assume there is a zero-sum game between the capital and other parts of the country.

Achieving positive synergies will involve much greater coordination between the London “Climate Cluster” and the rest of the UK. This challenge will be the focus of the first London Climate Action Week Gala Dinner which will bring together leading London and UK stakeholders.

Finally, from the beginning London Climate Action Week has reached beyond the climate bubble to engage a wider range of people and institutions in climate action.

As we have seen in the past year, climate action that is not rooted in broad societal consent will face a backlash that can become politically weaponised. London has seen its own controversies over Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

This year LCAW has prioritised public engagement around resilience to extreme heat through our Beat the Heat campaign in partnership with the British Red Cross. A special lesson plan has been put together as part of the regular London Climate Curriculum for all 3600 London schools. LCAW will also see many local and community events, including festivals in Southwark, Hackney and Barnet.

LCAW aims to mobilises London-based sectors with large global reach and influence. This year we have focused on fashion, hosting the Future Fabrics Expo and a range of sustainable fashion events from fashion shows to engaging consumers.

As a global city, and leader in climate action, London has the opportunity to demonstrate what whole of society climate action looks like to other cities who are going on a similar journey. LCAW has been reaching out globally over the last year, including Sydney and Shanghai which held their first climate weeks this year, and through international organisations like the OECD.

Following LCAW 2024 we will establish a year-round secretariat which will help shape, mobilise and align London’s climate activity throughout the year, as well as working globally to encourage a global movement for city-led climate action.


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