Local ambition to reduce emissions must be supported by Government funding
A drastic reduction in emissions from Hackney Council’s buildings is set to take place over the next 20 years - as it calls for the Government to commit to further funding to help local authorities tackle the climate emergency.
The breadth of the work planned by the Council to ensure it meets its 2040 net zero emissions has been revealed in a new strategy presented to its Full Council this week - with Council buildings and estates set to be made more energy efficient through insulation retrofits and large-scale installation of solar panels.
The Net Zero Energy Strategy, which forms part of the Council’s commitment to rebuild a greener Hackney, also outlines the Council’s intention to move away from gas boilers both to align with the London Plan from 2025 and to decarbonise its heating supply.
As part of the strategy, the Council, with consultants Buro Happold, has identified that significant capital investment is required to help meet its ambitious commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2040. As well as the Council’s own emissions, this target incorporates the embodied carbon within the construction materials of its own developments and emissions related to its vehicle fleet .
As a whole, London contributes 8% of UK carbon emissions, and it is therefore vital that – together with support to the wider local government sector – London receives a fair settlement to ensure it can play its part in meeting the national net zero target.
In the context of significant reductions in government funding for local councils over the last ten years, and a £58m budget shortfall last year as the Council responded to the coronavirus pandemic, a fairer funding settlement is needed from the Government to help local councils meet ambitious net zero targets.
Over the next three years, the Council will develop projects including pilot schemes to test its Net Zero Energy Strategy, with a detailed programme of work to follow from 2023.
We’re passionate about rebuilding a greener Hackney, and are already taking quick action to help reduce our emissions - from switching to 100% renewable electricity across Council buildings to increasing the number of electric vehicles in our fleet.
This net zero energy strategy shows the scale of work that’s required to make buildings as energy efficient as they can be - which requires significant investment that must be matched by a commitment from the Government as it hosts the pivotal COP26 climate conference later this year.
This is part of our roadmap to net zero, which encompasses the work the Council is doing to rebuild a greener Hackney and outlines how we’ll be engaging with residents in the coming months and years as we work together to tackle the climate emergency.