Southwark Council Leader writes to Prime Minister urging climate change action

9 November 2021

Following a local Climate Emergency Conference ahead of COP-26 involving Southwark residents,  businesses, partners and council officers, Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council, today wrote to the UK’s Prime Minister, urging the government to ‘do more’ to tackle climate change and ‘to do it quickly’ through a series of financial and policy changes.

In the letter to RT Hon Boris Johnson, MP, Cllr Williams said: “The resources you make available to deliver this shared ambition and responsibility are needed as soon as possible.  Now is the time for action, and we call on you to use this opportunity to make the changes that are so urgently needed for the future of our communities and our planet.”

The Council Leader’s comments reflected those of local people at Southwark’s Climate Conference where they agreed a clear message to government: “Commit to climate justice, to make real progress on ending reliance on fossil fuels, and to improve insulation in our homes….  do more and to do it quickly.”

The letter called on the government to:

  • significantly increase funding for schemes that allow both local authorities and residents to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes – making them low carbon, cosy and cheaper to heat, and to introduce a highly ambitious Future Homes Standard. It is estimated that  £2.6bn of capital expenditure is required to make all of the borough’s buildings carbon neutral
  • create a sustainable funding deal for TfL to reduce carbon emissions and clean up our toxic air not just in Southwark, but across the whole of London and beyond. Transport accounts for 15 per cent of the borough’s emissions, of which around 99% comes from on-road transport
  • provide new funding to ensure more sustainable recycling methods are available for all residents
  • provide new incentives to power a revolution in local renewable energy generation and avoid toxic energy sources

Southwark now has a Citizens’ Jury in place to learn about, discuss, and make recommendations on action that could tackle climate change. They are due to submit their findings to the council in spring 2022.

Page last updated: 09 November 2021