Boris launches carbon emission cutting competition

London Mayor Boris Johnson is calling for students from across the capital to come up with "innovative ideas" to cut carbon emissions from buildings and make them more energy efficient.

As part of the Low Carbon Prize, students from further and higher education institutes in London are being urged to come up with initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, in a bid to drive investment in retrofit building projects.

Finalists will have the chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, including leading architect Sir Terry Farrell, and Conservative MP for Richmond Park and environmentalist Zac Goldsmith, as well as being in with the chance to a share of a £20,000 prize,

Zac Goldsmith said: “Students are not only being encouraged to think about how to reduce London’s carbon emissions, they are being given a once in a life time opportunity to have a direct influence on the way this is achieved.”

The prize is being sponsored by home builders The Berkeley Group and the winner or winners will be rewarded with a cash prize presented by the Mayor at a City Hall event, as well as help to develop the practical application of their ideas and expert mentoring from an industry leader.

It is estimated that emissions from London’s buildings, businesses and households, account for nearly 80% of the city’s carbon emissions – equating to 35m tonnes of carbon every year. This figure needs to reduce to 13m tonnes by 2025, if London is to meet its target of cutting carbon by 60% by then.

The Berkeley Group chairman Tony Pidgley, said: “Reducing carbon emissions from new homes and buildings is an important challenge for the home building industry and I hope that Berkeley’s support of the Mayor’s Low Carbon Prize will inspire London’s students to come up with new low carbon ideas and technologies that we can include in our homes in years to come.”

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at City Hall in March 2012. Students can find out more and apply online here.

Carys Matthews

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie