Every quarter, we round up important sustainability news and inspiring projects from the south east of England. In this edition, we reflect on the need for climate adaptation and highlight some great work being done to drive forward decarbonisation and nature recovery.

2023 was the hottest year on record

Globally, last year was the hottest year on record, with the average global temperature reaching 1.48°C warmer than the 1850-1900 pre-industrial level. This underlines the need for both rapid emissions reduction and adaptation to climate change. In the south east, climate change is making summers hotter and drier and increasing the risk of drought and overheating in buildings.


London is not prepared for the impacts of climate change

The interim report from the London Climate Resilience Review (January 2024) finds that although significant climate adaptation and resilience action is underway across London, a step change in climate adaptation is needed. The report provides recommendations to guide climate adaptation, which will also be informative for local authorities outside of London.


Green Alliance’s new report presents a strategic and sustainable approach to housing delivery

In ‘Build up’, Green Alliance show how the housing and climate crises can be tackled concurrently. By reforming the planning system to deliver homes strategically and in the right locations, we can address housing shortages and facilitate more sustainable and healthy lifestyles. To do this, the government needs to increase planning resources and powers.


The Built Environment Carbon Database (BECD) launches: a free database for carbon estimating and benchmarking

Although carbon calculations have become commonplace in the building industry, so far there has been many tools and databases to draw from. This means there is inconsistency and potentially inaccuracies in carbon calculations for new buildings and infrastructure. With the release of BECD v.1.0.0, the sector moves one step closer to a unified database, which should make sustainable design easier and more transparent.


Making progress on Local Nature Recovery Strategies across the south east

Counties across England are mandated to prepare Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) for their areas. Several of these are now underway across the south east, which you may be able to get involved in. In Kent, workshops are running throughout February to establish priorities for nature recovery in the county: Link

Find out about LNRS for Sussex, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Essex, Surrey, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Buckinghamshire