Redbridge’s roadmap to creating a carbon neutral council, as well as support the community to cut carbon emissions throughout the borough, is being taken to Cabinet this week for approval.
The Climate Change Action Plan sets out the first chapter in the council’s journey towards creating a cleaner, greener and healthier Redbridge.
It details measures the council is taking to reduce its own carbon footprint by tackling emissions coming from council owned buildings and vehicles, as well as steps being taken by the council to support communities across borough to tackle climate change.
Redbridge’s aim is to become a carbon neutral* council by 2030, and carbon zero** by 2050.
Under the Action Plan created in the wake of the council declaring a climate emergency in 2019, more than 100 actions have been identified for implementation, which will build on the work already underway in the borough.
The council has been working hard to clean up air quality in Redbridge, reduce its own carbon footprint, and is committing to support residents, businesses and communities across the borough to also lower their carbon footprint.
Buildings and transport across the borough are two of the largest sources of carbon emissions in Redbridge, followed by waste.
The action plan targets these red flag areas with a raft of measures, which include:
- Replacing the councils transport fleet with more environmentally friendly vehicles.
- Increasing the number of electric vehicle charging points in the borough
- Improving cycling provisions in the borough, and subject to funding, introducing 5km of new cycle lanes per year for the next 5 years.
- Making council buildings more energy efficient
- Continue supporting private landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their homes with the Redbridge Go Green Grant.
- Ensuring new council residential developments continue to incorporate the provision of solar panels.
- Supporting low income households to retrofit 250 buildings to reach an Energy Performance Certificate rating of C.
- Introduce wheelie bins to reduce waste and increase recycling rates in the borough
- Eliminate single use items from all council offices and buildings
The action plan also highlights the council’s role in supporting residents to reduce their emissions, and throws the spotlight on local green initiatives to encourage everyone to do their bit in creating an environmentally friendly Redbridge.
Cllr Jas Athwal, Leader of Redbridge Council said: “We’re committed to stepping up to the challenge of climate change across the council, and the borough – but we can’t do this alone, and need to work together as one community to drive down carbon emissions in Redbridge. By acting to address the causes and impacts of climate change we can make our borough a better place to live, work and visit.”
Cabinet Member for Environment and Civic Pride Cllr Jo Blackman added: “We’ve already seen some great work taking place within the council and across the community to promote green growth in the borough. This action plan builds on that, but it’s only chapter one of our response to the climate emergency.
“We’ll continue to monitor our progress, respond to emerging technology and best practice, and work with partner organisations, businesses and communities to enable them to lead the way in responding to the climate emergency.”
The role of the natural environment in tackling climate change is also being championed, and over the last few years the council has undertaken various projects to develop the borough’s urban greenery, including:
- Partnering with environmental charity Trees for Cities to deliver an extensive tree planting programme, including planting 18,500 trees in parks and open spaces across the borough.
- Setting up a Nature and Environment group to look at biodiversity in the borough
- Developing Redbridge grow zones – a network of wild areas designed to provide new habitats for plants and wildlife to thrive.
- Creating a new biodiverse woodland space in Seven Kings
Plants and trees store and remove carbon and so have a role in reducing the amount of carbon present in the atmosphere.
The Climate Change Action Plan can be viewed in full as part of the Tuesday 8 June cabinet agenda papers: http://moderngov.redbridge.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=267&MId=8335&Ver=4
For more information on climate change, including how to reduce your carbon footprint go to the council’s new climate change web page: www.redbridge.gov.uk/about-the-council/climate-change/
* Carbon neutral means balancing carbon emissions by ‘offsetting’ – or removing from the atmosphere – an equivalent amount of carbon for the amount produced.
**Carbon zero means no emissions are being generated by an organisation/ product or service