What is the Council doing about the climate emergency?
In June 2019 the Council agreed to set an ambitious target to reach net zero carbon emissions 20 years ahead of the national target. This means building on 2016’s Greener Greenwich strategy and creating a new Greenwich carbon neutral plan with a 2030 target.
Developing our carbon neutral plan
The draft plan includes actions the council will take, how it will facilitate wider change and key asks of others to help reach our ambitions which include:
- all council homes to be heated and powered by non-fossil fuels
- heat networks to serve 13,000 homes
- a 35% reduction in municipal waste and a recycling rate of 70%
- a 45% reduction in car use.
It is essential that residents, businesses and organisations take shared ownership of this plan with the Council to jointly make the changes that will be required over the next ten years. This will start with the opportunity to comment on and shape the plan, prior to its formal adoption by the Council in Spring 2021. Sign up to our newsletter to find out when the consultation launches.
What the Council is already doing
The Council is already doing a lot as part of our Greener Greenwich strategy, including:
- procuring 100% renewable electricity
- buying more zero and ultra-low emissions vehicles
- making sure all our new buildings are energy efficient
- planning to install LED street lights which use less power
- creating safer routes for walking and cycling
- rolling out controlled parking zones to discourage car use
- installing electric vehicle charging points
- planting thousands of extra trees
- establishing a carbon offset fund so we can fund future energy-reducing measures
- setting up a partnership of businesses and local organisations to help reduce emissions across the borough
But we know we need to do a lot more.
The evidence base report considers what actions we can take which are consistent with science-based targets for Greenwich, in line with research by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Maintaining the overall ambition in line with the report will mean that Greenwich is able to meet the target of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5oC.
In 2015 the total annual emissions for Greenwich were 860kt CO2. The graph shows that if we made the minimum number of changes recommended in the report, the "baseline scenario", the emissions would be reduced to 628kt CO2 by 2030, a reduction of 27%. These savings would mostly be made from energy efficiency improvements in buildings, a reduction in the use of carbon fuels in the national grid and increased use of some low emissions vehicles on our roads.
If we made all the changes recommended in the report, the "maximum ambition scenario", emissions in Greenwich would be reduced by 77%. This level of emissions saving would require an almost complete decarbonisation of heating in buildings. On our roads, it would mean that the total distance in kilometers driven in cars are reduced by 45% relative to 2015, and battery electric vehicles would need to make up 51% of the car fleet.
If full decarbonisation of the grid is achieved, the emissions in Greenwich would reach 95kt CO2 by 2030 or an 89% reduction from the baseline.