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Our climate resilience and adaptation strategy

The climate emergency remains the challenge of our time, and time is running out. The best action we can take is to cut our emissions as quickly as possible. We already have a plan to do this, with an ambition for the whole borough to be carbon neutral. However, we also know that our climate is changing now, and it is changing fast.

That is why we have made a strategy to prepare Southwark for the future. The strategy creates a framework to protect our communities, homes, infrastructure and environment. It is a strategy for the whole of the borough. It sets out how we will:

  • prepare the borough’s buildings, streets and infrastructure to build resilience to heat, flooding, and drought
  • work with others to prepare, plan and respond to challenges and shocks such as extreme weather, food insecurity and water scarcity
  • improve the borough at the same time, such as by improving air quality, supporting our plants and wildlife and reducing inequalities

To do this our strategy focuses on five key climate threats:

  • overheating
  • flooding
  • water scarcity
  • food insecurity
  • new pests and diseases

We already do a lot of work in these areas. Such as:

  • shaping new building design in planning policy to reduce overheating
  • managing flood risk and delivering sustainable drainage schemes
  • emergency planning that ensures we have a quick and effective response to support residents in times of need
  • large programmes of urban greening and planting

Our strategy recognises this work while ensuring that we're prepared for the new challenges that climate change will bring.

Improving our strategy

We held a public consultation on a draft strategy between 29 August and 10 October 2023.  The feedback we received fed into our final strategy. It which was adopted on 6 February 2024.

We heard from residents and businesses about the impacts of climate change that are already being felt. The findings painted a vivid picture for the importance of this strategy in Southwark. Our changes  included new actions that will support those that are the most vulnerable to climate change and in many cases are already feeling the worst impacts. This has been backed-up by £1 million for key projects in these areas to help address things such as flooding and overheating.

Find out more

What are the climate threats?

What will the council do?

Download and read our strategy, as well as other documents

Page last updated: 15 March 2024

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