Lambeth Labour has announced that Lambeth will become the first London borough – and one of the first local authorities in the country – to declare a climate emergency and bring forward its target for becoming carbon neutral to 2030.
In a motion at next week’s Full Council meeting, Lambeth commits to declaring a climate emergency; to work to make Lambeth carbon neutral by 2030; and to call on the Tory government to get a grip of the issue by providing more funding and resources for carbon reduction activities. The motion references the highly worrying October report from the IPCC on Global Warming and describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise in global temperatures is likely to cause compared to the 1.5°C rise committed to in the Paris climate agreement.
Cllr Claire Holland, Cabinet Member for Environment and Clean Air, said: “Becoming the first London borough, and one of the first council’s in the country to adopt this target indicates how serious we are taking our commitment to playing our part by reducing our carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality by 2030.
“We face a climate emergency – and that requires significant and concerted action by us all to tackle it.
“We will do our bit and more at a local government level, but it is also up to the Government to step up to the plate and provide councils like Lambeth, and the Mayor of London, the powers and resources to ensure that this can be achieved.”
Lambeth Council is already leading the green agenda across London, by becoming one of the first local authorities to divest its pension portfolio from carbon intensive fossil fuel assets, replacing all of our streetlights with low-carbon LED alternatives and hugely reducing our office estate from 14 buildings to two.
The council has also taken the opportunity to procure brand-new electric vehicles for its fleet in its parks maintenance team, and will continue its partnership working with local organisations such as Repowering London to build community energy projects in the borough.
This is not to mention our air quality programme, which includes rolling out ‘green screens’ to primary schools across the borough, piloting ‘school streets’ timed road closures, vastly upgrading our electric vehicle charging infrastructure and prioritising walking, cycling and public transport in our new draft Transport Strategy.
However, meeting the 2030 target will be a challenge and it will require proper funding and resourcing help from central government, which so far has proved completely lacking.