Southwark Council declares Climate Change Emergency

16 April 2019

Southwark Council has reinforced its commitment to combatting carbon emissions and rising global temperatures, by joining the international Climate Change Campaign and declaring a Climate Change Emergency.

The council has been working to reduce its emissions for some time, cutting them by 37 per cent since 2010. Moving forward, it will join forces with everybody in the borough, to try and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

Southwark is a low-lying borough next to the tidal Thames, as such; it is particularly vulnerable to the impact of the rising sea levels and flooding.

The council’s work to combat these risks includes: taking steps to move council buildings energy supplies to 100 per cent renewables from 2020, achieving the best recycling rates in inner London, sending less than two per cent of waste to landfill, introducing idling fines for drivers who leave their engines running while static, closing roads around schools to improve air quality and encourage cycling and walking, and much more.

The council has also fitted 81 electric vehicle chargers in the last year and is set to take this number to 150, by 2020.

However, it will be impossible to meet the 2030 target without bold steps from central government, changes to the national grid, transport improvements from City Hall, help from the construction industry, big business, individuals and more.

The council is planning to engage with residents, local groups and other stakeholders over this summer, so that it can share its learning, draw from that of others and work towards 2030, together.

Councillor Richard Livingstone, Cabinet Member for environment, transport management and air quality, said: “With two-thirds of Southwark’s residents living less than ten metres above sea level, the council is particularly aware of and vulnerable to climate change.

“While we don’t yet have all the answers, I look forward to bringing together people from across the borough and working with them, to achieve our ambitious goal of carbon neutrality for Southwark, by 2030.”

Page last updated: 16 April 2019