To meet it’s target to be carbon neutral by 2030, the Council have developed a Carbon Neutral Plan.
The Royal Borough of Greenwich declared a Climate Emergency in 2019. This included a commitment to make Greenwich ‘Carbon Neutral’ by 2030. Like many local authorities and other organisations, responding to a challenge of this magnitude requires considerable ambition, as well as pragmatism.
Greenwich is developing its Carbon Neutral Plan, which is designed to deliver on the commitment to achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2030 across the Borough.
The Plan’s development has involved:
- developing an evidence base to understand emission sources
- drafting of the plan including commitments to initial actions
- community consultation on the draft plan
- equalities assessment of the draft plan.
Actions are already being refined and implemented, and new actions are emerging, whilst the final plan is going through the approvals process.
Initial stages of developing the plan have significantly increased understanding of climate change and sources of emissions within the Council and in the wider community. It is leading to increased action in many areas, including the following:
- improving household energy efficiency
- decarbonising heat for homes and other premises, in the Council’s estate and more widely
- programme to replace 19,000 inefficient streetlights with LED lighting
- fostering of new community-led initiatives on decarbonising the borough
- acceleration in development of more sustainable transport options and choices
- reducing food waste
- more local food production
- 131 homes receiving new PV panels
- 2022 new trees before the end of 2021
- educational engagement
- skills development for a greener economy.
Implementation of the Carbon Neutral Plan is at a very early stage. The process of developing it has revealed the breadth of interest and potential for joining-up to improve the effectiveness of communication and increase the number of ways of engaging people.
Specific examples of learning include increased recognition and understanding of:
- the value of linking low carbon initiatives and associated communications with public health – particularly with respect to exercise and sustainable transport, and reducing food waste and sustainable diets with healthy eating
- the pressing need to develop effective schemes/motivations for improving the energy efficiency/carbon emissions from homes for the ‘able to pay’/non-fuel poor sector
- the importance of considering economic opportunities and skills development linked to decarbonisation.