Roadmap to net zero: Council sets out plans for next eight months
A new version of a roadmap to net zero has been released by Hackney Council in the run-up to COP26, setting out the action it is taking to rebuild a greener Hackney, tackle the climate emergency and engage with local people on this work over the next eight months.
This forms the first part of longer-term plans to reach net zero emissions by 2040, which means the Council will no longer be a net contributor to climate change by that point.
The Council has been codesigning a green recovery engagement event with the local voluntary sector over the past year, which it will host this week as the first part of longer-term engagement to be kickstarted by a climate summit in the new year.
Already this year, the Council has:
- Planted 2,500 mature street trees and 12,000 trees in parks and open spaces, towards a commitment to plant 36,000 by 2022. We work closely with community groups, such as Hackney Tree Musketeers, to deliver this programme, which will increase canopy cover from 20 to 30%
- Switched Council electricity supply to 100% renewable
- Launched London’s first borough-wide thermal efficiency programme, installing insulation at 100 households and trialling home heat pumps, and a solar pilot programme, installing solar panels at two leisure facilities, with projected lifetime carbon savings of 2,259,505kWh. Both are delivered through Hackney Light and Power, its Council-owned energy services company
- Introduced 40 new School Streets - helping over 14,000 children walk and cycle to school - and 15 new LTNs - where through-traffic is restricted to encourage walking and cycling.
- Introduced fortnightly residual waste collections, with initial evidence indicating a 3.5% rise in recycling rates
- Adopted a new local plan requiring development to contribute to biodiversity net gain, and major developments to install living roofs
- Expanded its glyphosate-free zone, and started expanding it to all 237 green spaces on its housing estates, as part of a commitment to reduce herbicide-use and increase biodiversity
- Converted 1400 sqm of space on its roads and pavements to rain gardens, helping to reduce impact on the public sewer system and increase wildlife diversity.
Over the next few months, the Council is:
- Tendering for thousands of electric vehicle charging points to be introduced across Hackney by 2030
- Launching the second phase of the Green Homes programme, which has already retrofitted 100 privately owned homes
- Launching a new Library of Things in Dalston
- Planting 2,500 more street trees, as part of a commitment to plant a total of over 35,000 trees in the borough by 2022
- Hosting a green recovery event to kick start longer-term engagement with residents and businesses on tackling the climate emergency, including a climate summit in January.
Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, and Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm, Cllr Mete Coban, are visiting Glasgow to attend COP26.
In order to further progress this work and reach net zero by 2040, the Council is currently finalising a borough-wide emissions assessment, which will help the Council to further prioritise action to reach net zero. The Council has direct control over 5% of the borough’s emissions and influence over a further third, with the rest made up from sources like aviation, domestic energy and transport.
It is also finalising plans for biodiversity, green infrastructure and net zero, and is one of the first councils to develop a nature recovery plan, working with stakeholders to identify nature recovery areas, already meeting on requirement of the draft Environment Bill.
Responding to the climate crisis is the challenge of our times. It’s already causing increased drought, flooding, heatwaves and fires across the world, and warmer and wetter winters, hotter and drier summers and more intense weather extremes like flash flooding locally here in Hackney.
If we don’t respond now, we risk our city changing forever, which is why we’ve committed to reach net zero by 2040, in line with the IPCC’s 1.5C report. We’ve already taken some really ambitious steps - like switching to 100% renewable electricity, planting over 30,000 trees by 2022 and introducing new low traffic neighbourhoods and School Streets - but the scale of the challenge requires a concerted effort from communities, businesses, councils and national government.
As we approach COP26, it’s so important that we’re clear about the challenges that lie ahead of us - but also about the hope we have for a cleaner, greener future.
Our roadmap to net zero is crucial in showing the action we’re taking to tackle the climate emergency - but we also want to expand our partnerships with residents and businesses in the borough to see how we can work together on the climate crisis.
That’s why we’re joining with the local voluntary sector to host a green recovery engagement this week, kickstarting a longer-term conversation with local people, which will include a climate summit in the new year, and consultations on our climate action plans
The Council only has direct control of 5% of the borough’s emissions, and influence over a further third, with the majority made up by things like emissions from private gas and electricity consumption, road transport, the food people eat and the flights people take. If we’re to rebuild a greener Hackney, it’s vital that we work together.