Budget Release

After months of deliberation and community engagement, the City of London's 2024-2027 Multi-Year Budget was released! You can find the complete document here.

This final version of the budget incorporates the amendments from the Mayor's budget that were approved by City Council during the deliberation period. (Check out our blog on the amendments)

The Multi-Year Budget (MYB) will guide London over the next 4 years as City Council works to achieve London's Strategic Plan. Each year, there is an annual budget update process where the Mayor and Council can adjust the budget to provide flexibility for events or circumstances that require funding and resource adjustments.

A Recap of MYB Advocacy & Results

This MYB cycle, City staff developed a draft budget (released December 2023) followed by the Mayor's budget (released January 2024). For both budgets, the London Environmental Network (LEN) team reviewed the proposed business cases and highlighted the ones that connect with the environment - you can find both of those summaries on our Advocacy page.

The LEN team was excited to see so many business cases that supported London's environment, but our biggest ask was that Business Case #P-56: Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP) Implementation Support was fully funded. This would ensure that London is on track to achieving its CEAP milestones of 55% emission reductions by 2030 and net-zero by 2050. These are ambitious but necessary goals to address climate action in London. We need everyone - all Londoners and municipal government - working together to achieve these goals and the Business Case provided a great pathway to do so. 

January to February was a whirlwind of advocacy activities. We are so inspired by and grateful for all of the efforts that LEN members and Londoners made to advocate for the environment and climate action in the MYB. Here are some of the activities LEN supported:

  • Hosted a MYB Environmental Information Session featuring 5 LEN members to share their priority business cases (recap here)
  • Shared MYB resources on our website and weekly social media posts,
  • Promoted and attended the Sustainability Summit, 
  • Our Interim Executive Director spoke at the January 29th Public Participation Meeting (PPM), and
  • Sent letters to all City Councillors with LEN's advocacy priorities

This MYB cycle was challenging. There was a strong push for increased police services and safety in the Mayor's budget. This allocation of funding led to many other strategic priorities falling short of their budget requests, including Business Case #P-56. However, one success story was the community efforts and motion made by Councillor David Ferreira that led to an increase in public transit service hours (Business Case #P-51), adding 18,000 service hours for conventional transit! 

If you'd like to see what environmental business cases received funding in the final budget, compared to what was proposed, make sure to visit our blog post here.

What's Next for London's Budget

At both PPMs, the London community made it loud and clear that they wanted more funding for climate action, housing, mental health, arts, and the environment. It's disappointing that wasn't the outcome of the MYB deliberations, however, that doesn't mean we should stop telling City Council our priorities! If we want to see London become a green and resilient city, we need to continue letting our leaders know and we need to continue taking action in the community.

As a city, we do not have the luxury of selectively choosing 1-2 environmental cases to partially support for the next four years and expect results. We need a holistic, city-wide approach to climate action. Not investing and taking climate action now will mean more expenses later for the city and taxpayers alike - such as higher fuel costs, infrastructure damage/repair costs, healthcare, etc. If a piecemeal and underfunded approach to climate action is taken for the next 4 years, we will not meet our CEAP targets of 55% emission reductions by 2030, building climate resilience, and bringing everyone along. In fact, many people will be left out and our community will suffer from negative climate change impacts (flooding, extreme heat, freezing temperatures) in our communities, particularly those who are experiencing homelessness. This is not a safe or equitable outlook for our city.

...So what can we do?

  • Continue to engage with your City Councillor by phone, email, or out in the community. Tell them why the environment matters to you, and what sort of initiatives you would like to see in your Ward.
  • Keep up to date with LEN and its members by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter! We'll keep you informed about what's going on in London's environmental sector and how you can get involved.
  • Check out our Advocacy Page for current calls to action from LEN and our members.
  • If you are a LEN member and want your advocacy efforts shared on our platforms, please reach out to us at [email protected]