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Local views sought to prepare borough for the impacts of climate change

31 August 2023

As the impact of climate change intensifies, Southwark Council is taking decisive action to protect residents from the current and future impacts of the changing climate. While the council remains steadfast in its commitment to be a carbon-neutral borough by 2030, it acknowledges the need to prepare as international responses to the issue lag and the impacts continue to affect communities globally.

Southwark’s draft Climate Change Resilience and Adaptation Strategy sets out the council’s plans to protect communities, homes, infrastructure, and the environment from the physical impacts of climate change. This includes extreme weather such as heat and flooding, risks to water and food supply as well as the emergence of new pests and diseases.

The borough-wide strategy sets out how the council will:

  • Future-proof the borough’s buildings, streets, and critical infrastructure
  • Work with others to prepare, plan, and respond to challenges and shocks
  • Improve the borough at the same time, such as by improving air quality and biodiversity and reducing inequalities

To help create a robust strategy, the council is seeking the views of local people, businesses, and community groups as part of an online survey. Crucially, the council wants to hear about local people’s response to climate change impacts such as extreme weather and food shortages – to help understand the way communities have pulled together and adapted through recent shocks and stresses. The consultation started on 29 August and closes on 9 October 2023.

Given the urgency of the climate emergency, Southwark Council has already taken action to strengthen resilience locally including the reshaping of planning policy for new buildings to minimise overheating, additional sustainable urban drainage schemes, increased planting programmes, and enhanced emergency planning to effectively respond to residents in times of need.

Councillor James McAsh, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency, Clean Air and Streets, said: “We must prepare for an uncertain future. We cannot sit back and wait for the worst to happen before taking urgent action to protect local people – particularly the most vulnerable - from the real impacts of a changing climate.

“While significant work has gone on locally to strengthen our resilience including improved flood alleviation schemes and changes to planning policy, we need every corner of the community to get behind the strategy and provide their contributions to how we can better protect people and place”.

To read more about Southwark's resilience and adaptation strategy, please visit the Southwark Council website.

Page last updated: 06 September 2023

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