Lewisham Council has unveiled a new community investment scheme that aims to generate £1 million for local projects directed at reducing the borough’s environmental impact.
Lewisham Climate Action Bond (CAB), set to start from 2023, will allow residents to invest as little as £5 in council projects aimed at tackling the climate emergency and boost its efforts in becoming a net zero borough by 2030.
The launch was unveiled at a mayor and cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, where the council pledged to sign the Green Financial Institute’s Local Climate Bond, a campaign promoting green investments that is gaining popularity among local authorities within the UK.
“We’re joining the UK’s leading councils in launching this sort of community investment scheme. I hope it shows how serious we take our responsibilities and how we’re looking at different ways to meet the challenge,” said Mayor of Lewisham Damien Egan, who attended the meeting.
According to the council, residents investing in the CAB will receive a return “equal or slightly less than the standard rate of interest the council would have to pay to borrow the money”.
It would allow the council to borrow from residents at low interest and use the funds for projects such as retrofitting buildings, cycle hangars and promoting the use of renewable energy.
The project, which will be subject to full council approval on November 23, was presented at the meeting by Cabinet Member for Finance and Strategy, Amanda de Ryk and Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Action, Louise Krupsky, who explained the main points of Lewisham’s CAB.
“Firstly, it is an inclusive scheme. The minimum investment could be as little as £5, which makes it as accessible as possible,” de Ryk said.
“Secondly, the bond would be for a £1 million with a five-year term. It will fund a range of projects that accord with our climate emergency action plan.
“We hope this positive call to action will be making a real difference in their local area will increase the bonds appeal to local investors”.
You can read more specifics about Lewisham’s CAB here.