A greener, healthier Hackney: climate action plan adopted
An ambitious new climate action plan that sets out how everyone in Hackney could tackle climate change and create a greener, healthier borough was adopted by the Council’s Cabinet last night.
The climate action plan shows how businesses, organisations like the Council and the NHS, and local residents can work together to respond to climate change, reduce their impact on the planet and secure benefits for local people, like cleaner air, greener neighbourhoods and cheaper heating and electricity for the future.
The plan sets out five themes that define the borough’s response to the climate emergency:
- Adaptation: Ensuring that Hackney is prepared for and resilient to the impacts of the climate emergency - like flooding or hot weather - protecting the most vulnerable residents
- Buildings: Removing gas boilers, adding solar panels and decreasing energy use in the borough’s existing buildings and ensuring new buildings (where required) are fit for the future. This will help to reduce fuel poverty.
- Transport: Reducing emissions from transport, improving air quality and helping residents live active and healthy lifestyle
- Consumption: Changing what and how everyone in the borough buys, uses and sells, helping create a new green economy in Hackney
- Environmental quality: Maximising the potential for biodiversity in our green spaces, reducing pollution and helping local ecosystems thrive.
Under each theme, the plan sets out goals and objectives for the borough that help guide how residents, businesses and organisations respond to the climate crisis.
The plan also recognises the need to make sure the transition to a net zero society is a fair one by reducing inequalities and creating benefits such as improved air quality, better mental health, and biodiversity enhancement.
Hundreds of people had their say on the draft climate action plan in autumn last year. Following consultation, the Council has reviewed all the consultation responses and made a number of changes to the climate action plan, including:
- Making some of its goals more specific and more collective, so they encompass what the whole borough needs to do and are less about the Council, unless it has sole responsibility
- Adding some of the actions of what the Council will do in the next three years under each of the climate action plan’s themes
- Outlining the Council’s approach to meeting significant funding gaps in meeting some of the borough’s net zero commitments
We’re known for being one of the most ambitious councils in the country on climate action - planting thousands of new trees, boosting walking and cycling, supporting community energy and cutting energy use from our buildings through Hackney Light and Power.
This climate action plan puts this ambition into a guide that residents, businesses and organisations can follow. It’s only by working together that we can all take the necessary steps on adaptation, buildings, transport, consumption and more to build a greener, healthier borough.
We can only tackle climate change in partnership with businesses and local people, particularly as the Council only has direct control over about 5% of the borough’s emissions.
The climate action plan builds on our climate summit and the consultation we held last year, creating a movement of people across Hackney who can help take action - however big or small - and end our contribution to climate change.
Under each of its themes, the climate action plan sets a number of goals for the borough to be achieved by 2030. This will require significant changes in all of our behaviour, infrastructure, business models, and co-operation. These goals are ambitious, borough-wide and aligned with the Paris Agreement. Reaching these goals at a local level doesn’t rely on action by a single organisation, they are for everyone: residents, community groups and organisations, businesses and institutions.
- Local capacity built to adapt and respond to the impacts of climate change.
- Communities are protected from overheating, reducing the risk of extreme heat impacts on vulnerable groups and critical services.
- Flood risk is reduced and the existing drainage system is better managed to respond to extreme weather events.
- New planting in Hackney is resilient to a changing climate, and invasive species and new plant diseases are managed.
- Existing buildings (public and private) have been retrofitted to average EPC B to minimise energy consumption and reduce levels of fuel poverty.
- 63% of buildings (public and private) use low carbon heat sources such as district heat networks, heat pumps and electric heating.
- All buildings are maintained and refurbished to prolong their lifespans to at least 60 years, where appropriate.
- Where new buildings are needed, they are ultra-energy efficient and do not use fossil fuels, and they are made from low carbon and reused materials.
- 80 MWp of solar panels and battery storage have been installed on the roofs of all possible buildings (public and private).
- At least 59% of journeys that start in Hackney are on foot or by bike, compared to 53% in 2020.
- Most petrol and diesel vehicles have been phased out: 64% of cars and 68% of vans on the road are battery-powered.
- Only 5% of trips that start in Hackney are by private car or motorbike, compared to 13% in 2020.
- Freight traffic is 10% lower than in 2019, with more alternative delivery models on the road – such as cargo bikes.
- Road space currently used for parking has been reduced to support the promotion of walking, cycling and climate resilience.
- Residents, businesses and partners make low carbon procurement choices contributing to a 2/3 reduction in average total national consumption emissions, with more products being repaired and reused to extend their useful life.
- Residents and businesses have actively reduced annual residual waste generation and there is increased participation in recycling and composting programmes, with avoidable food waste 50% less than in 2020.
- Healthy, plant-based diets are widespread, with reduced rates of food poverty.
- Half of residents’, partners’ and businesses’ pensions and investments in Hackney are fossil-free, and local wealth is distributed to local, sustainable and cooperatively-run projects.
- The association between inner-London living and poor air quality has been broken, with Hackney meeting World Health Organisation Air Quality targets.
- Significant ecological improvements have been achieved in all the areas identified in the Hackney Local Nature Recovery Plan.
- Water bodies in Hackney achieve ‘Good’ ecological status.
- Average water demand is reduced to 135 l/person/day, including reducing water lost through leaks by 22% compared to 2020.
To find out more about the Council’s climate action plan, visit: https://hackney.gov.uk/rebuilding-a-greener-hackney