Ealing Council has formally adopted its Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy, which will see wide-ranging and bold measures introduced across the borough to tackle the threat of climate catastrophe on a local level.
The aim is to become carbon neutral, as a borough and an organisation by 2030. This will be achieved both through reducing the council’s own emissions and improving air quality across the borough.
Ealing’s residents, volunteers and businesses are central to the success of the strategy and working alongside local people will be vital going forward. The council is working with community groups to launch a virtual climate action hub in March 2021, with plans to engage Ealing residents on the UN climate change conference COP26 in November.
The strategy outlines four areas of action:
- Energy: The council will lead by example by retrofitting over 20 of its own buildings, upgrading its housing stock to decarbonise heat and improve energy efficiency and help residents cut their bills with support for home improvements that can make a huge difference on saving energy and cutting carbon emissions
- Transport: Space for active transport is being increased so that walking and cycling emerge as the preferred way to make all short journeys for residents. Rollout of electric vehicles charging points is also continuing and the council’s target is for all residents to be within a five-minute walk of a charge point by 2025
- Green infrastructure: Community led projects and initiatives will see nature and biodiversity prioritised through projects to plant tens of thousands of trees, create woodlands, orchards and hedgerows, and protect local populations of birds, bats, insects, mammals, reptiles and amphibians
- Waste: The council will work to support waste minimisation for residents and businesses, while improving Greener Ealing rubbish and recycling operations by converting vehicles to low emission and electric power
A fifth part of the strategy focusing on food systems is currently in development with the community and will be agreed in summer 2021.
Councillor Jasbir Anand, cabinet member for environment and climate action said: “In 2018 the UN reported that we had 12 years left to act on climate change to avoid a global disaster, which is why we declared a climate emergency, taken bold and ambitious steps to become carbon neutral by 2030 and become a much more environmentally-friendly borough in the near future.
“Many of the adjustments we need to make to combat climate change can result in hugely positive changes in other areas of our lives, and these are known as co-benefits.
“This could range from planting more trees in local green spaces which will benefit local people as well as the environment, to reducing the number of short car journeys we make in the borough, which will improve people’s health and improve air quality.”
“Addressing climate change is not a challenge the council can face alone – it requires everyone in the borough to commit to a new vision of our future and delivers many benefits for our communities, health and economy.”
“Acting now on climate change will dramatically improve the council’s environmental performance and help to protect current and future residents from the impacts of climate change in the future.”
The strategy was developed with local residents and environmental groups and was formally adopted by the council week (2 February 2021) following confirmation by cabinet last month (19 January 2020).
Residents and businesses can find our more information and get involved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting the council’s website.