What is the Climate Emergency?

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 Thames, Southwark is particularly prone to the impact of sea level rises and flooding.

We have several major roads that have heavy traffic flows to and from central London. Vehicle exhaust fumes are 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.

Total emissions in the borough are 1,074 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents. To put that into perspective, one tonne of carbon is about the amount produced during a flight from a London airport to the east coast of the US. 

With this in mind, we all need to work together to tackle the climate emergency.

In terms of the whole borough, we estimate that:

  • 75% of emissions come from buildings
    • The largest emissions are residential homes. The next highest industrial buildings and commercial buildings.
  • 18% of emissions come from transport
    • 88% of traffic on our streets is cars and taxis. The remaining 12% is buses, vans and larger vehicles.
  • 6% of emissions come from waste disposal
    • At least 60% of what we throw away can be recycled but we’re currently just recycling about 35%.

Our climate strategy and action plan sets these emissions out in detail and looks at how we can reduce them in each area.

Read more about the work we’re doing to tackle the climate emergency, and keep up to date by signing up to our enewsletter.

Page last updated: 04 January 2023


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