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Climate emergency

What is the climate emergency

In March 2019 we declared a climate emergency but what does this mean?

What causes climate change

Human activity is increasing the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These gases trap the sun’s heat and warm the planet. We can already see the impact of this warming, from more extreme weather, to melting of polar ice, to flooding and to crops failing. 

We generate greenhouse gases from all sorts of activities. Burning fossil fuels, which provide electricity and heat and power transport, emits greenhouse gases - so does the production of steel, concrete, plastic and other products that we use everyday. What we eat also impacts the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

Climate change is happening now. Unless we take urgent action there will be irreversible damage.

Climate change in Southwark

The climate emergency will have a direct impact on the residents of Southwark. As a largely low-lying area, next to the tidal Thames, Southwark is particularly prone to the impact of sea level rises and flooding. We also have several major roads that have heavy traffic flows both to and from central London, with vehicle exhaust fumes being the main cause of air pollution in Southwark.

We will do all we can to make the borough carbon neutral by 2030. It won’t be easy.

Emissions that we control - including council homes and vehicles - are only about 14% of the borough’s emissions. Emissions from council-related operations have already fallen 36.7% since 2008 and we are working hard to reduce emissions further. With this in mind, we all need to work together to tackle the climate emergency.

To find out more about the work we're doing on the climate emergency, please sign up to our enewsletter.

Page last updated: 04 February 2021

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