councillors standing with bicycles

Published: Thursday, 19th November 2020

The threat to our climate is real and it is now indisputable that the changes to our environment are rapid, accelerating and a threat to how we live.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich declared a climate emergency in 2019 and agreed to set an ambitious target to reach net zero carbon emissions 20 years ahead of the national target.   

We’ve now published a draft carbon neutral plan based on what you think our priorities should be, and the evidence base report

The draft plan sets out what changes we’ll make and what actions are necessary to make sure we reach our ambitious target of becoming a carbon neutral borough by 2030. 

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 starts next month with the opportunity to comment on and shape the plan, prior to its formal adoption by the council in Spring 2021.  

Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said: 

“Climate change and poor air quality are already having a dramatic negative effect on our health and, much like COVID-19, have become an issue of equality and social justice. The effects of climate change are likely to affect our elderly, vulnerable and poorer residents the most, so if we take action to lower our emissions, the same residents will benefit from warmer homes, cleaner air and lower energy bills. I would urge as many residents as possible to look at the draft plan and have their say when we launch the consultation.” 

Cllr Sizwe James, Cabinet Member for Environment, Sustainability and Transport said: 

“This year has shown us that when it comes to the things that truly matter, no one can do it alone. We've come together to protect our most vulnerable residents and keep our services running throughout the pandemic and will need to channel this energy to tackle the even bigger threat of the climate emergency. Between 2014 and 2019, the number of miles driven on roads in our borough increased by one hundred million. This is just one example of the scale of the challenge ahead if we’re going to deal with the biggest ever threat to our health, wellbeing and prosperity.” 

The council has set an ambitious target because we've already been making progress over the past four years as part of our Greener Greenwich strategy, including: 

  • procuring 100% green electricity  
  • building low carbon homes  
  • creating safer routes for walking and cycling  
  •  creating controlled parking zones to discourage car use  
  • installing electric vehicle charging points  
  • planting thousands of extra trees  
  • setting up a partnership of businesses and local organisations to help reduce emissions across the borough. 

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.  

We know there is a lot more to do, but you can read about the progress we’ve already made as part of our Greener Greenwich strategy. 

Read the draft carbon neutral plan