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New investment scheme launched to boost funding for climate projects

Lewisham Climate Action Investment aims to raise £1m for projects to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the Climate Emergency.

Lewisham Council has officially launched its Lewisham Climate Action Investment – a new scheme which allows residents to invest in local projects to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the Climate Emergency.

Residents and businesses can invest from as little as £5 and earn a return on their investment. 

Launched in partnership with ethical crowdfunding platform Abundance Investment, the scheme aims to raise £1 million to invest in local projects across the borough. The money raised will fund a range of projects aimed at encouraging more sustainable modes of transport and reducing carbon emissions, including:

  • More secure cycle hangars to encourage residents to travel by bike.
  • New electric vehicle charging infrastructure to make it easier for people to switch away from polluting vehicles.
  • More planting and greenery on local streets to improve biodiversity and encourage walking.
  • Establishing green transport hubs at train stations and in town centres - with cycle hire and car club facilities, secure bike storage and electric vehicle charging points.
  • Repairs and improvements to existing footways and cycle infrastructure to support walking and cycling.

The scheme is a type of Community Municipal Investment – an investment model which allows residents to invest their money in projects that benefit the local community and receive a return on their investment. Lewisham is one of the first councils in the country to launch this type of community investment scheme, having previously signed the Green Finance Institute’s Local Climate Bond pledge in November 2022.

Since declaring a Climate Emergency in 2019, Lewisham Council has launched an ambitious Climate Emergency Action Plan, setting out plans to help the borough reach net-zero by 2030. Reducing emissions from transport and encouraging more sustainable modes of travel is a key part of this strategy and the launch of the Lewisham Climate Action Investment will help build on the progress already made in this area.

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said: “Our Lewisham Climate Action Investment allows people to invest as little as £5 in local projects that help reduce our carbon emissions - like new electric vehicle charging infrastructure and cycle hangars. We want to build on the progress we’ve already made tackling the Climate Emergency, with the support of our community and we’re joining the UK’s leading councils in launching this type of community investment scheme, which will make a big difference to all of us and to future generations.”

Karl Harder, Co-founder and Joint Managing Director of Abundance, said: "It is great to see Lewisham giving all of its residents the chance to take action on the Climate Emergency whether they have £5 or more to invest through this Climate Action Investment. Local councils are in the vanguard of those taking action and launching an investment like this is a great way to show that while the news about climate sometimes feels overwhelming, there are lots of practical steps we can take now to do our bit to tackle the crisis."

Emma Harvey-Smith, Programme Director, Green Finance Institute, said: “I’m delighted to see Lewisham become the latest forward-thinking council to issue a Community Municipal Investment as part of its transition to a resilient, net-zero local economy. Local authorities play a key role in decarbonizing the economy but require greater access to capital to invest in green projects. Community Municipal Investments are an innovative financing mechanism that deliver a win-win for local authorities, their communities and the planet. They enable councils to borrow at a cheaper rate than the public works loan board rate, while providing residents with the opportunity to receive a return for investing in reducing emissions in their local area.”

About Lewisham Climate Action Investment

Capital at risk. Investments are long term and may not be readily realisable. This content has been approved as a financial promotion by Abundance who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (525432).

Holding investments in an IFISA does not reduce the risk of the investment or protect you from losses. You can still lose all your money. It only means that any potential gains from your investment will be tax free. The tax treatment of your investment will depend on your individual circumstances and may change in the future.

Lewisham Climate Action Investment, which is a loan, is Green Loan Principles compliant and is being issued under a Green Finance Framework. This is a voluntary standard which sets out how Lewisham Council intends to manage its green local authority securities in the future, and outlines how they will meet the Green Loan Principles. This assures investors that funds raised can only be used to help them deliver on eligible green projects from within this framework, and Abundance will monitor the use of funds across the investment term to ensure the principles are being adhered to.

Investors will earn returns of 4.3% interest a year, across five years. The investment pays regular instalments of capital and interest every six months. Each payment will include interest and a portion of investors' original investment.

Investors will also have the option to donate back their interest to fund additional green initiatives The investment can also be held in an Innovative Finance ISA, which offers tax free returns. The Lewisham Climate Action Investment is being launched in partnership with Abundance Investment, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Lewisham Council and the Climate Emergency

Lewisham was one of the first boroughs in London to declare a Climate Emergency in 2019. The Council published its Climate Emergency Action Plan in 2020, setting out plans to make Lewisham a net-zero borough by 2030. Updates on the progress made in delivering this plan have been published on an annual basis.

Since 2019, Lewisham Council has delivered a range of initiatives to cut their own emissions and improve the local environment. They have switched over to 100% renewable energy in all Council buildings, delivered energy efficiency upgrades to their housing stock and local schools and upgraded their waste and recycling fleet to comply with the highest standards of emissions, with more electric vehicles.

The Council has also been extremely active in delivering projects to help local residents and businesses take climate action. They have installed 150 electric vehicle charging points and more than 160 cycle hangars across the borough, trialled a new electric cargo bike loan scheme for businesses to help businesses become more sustainable and planted more than 500 new street trees in the most recent planting season to create a greener and healthier environment.

Borough-wide CO2 emissions in Lewisham have fallen by 44% since 2005 and Lewisham Council’s corporate carbon emissions have been reduced by 18% since 2018/19.

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