In 2019 Lambeth Councillors declared a climate crisis, becoming the first council in the country to do so. With homes, transport, businesses and other institutions across Lambeth producing over 900 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018, we must take emergency action to stop the catastrophic rises in global temperatures. Lambeth Council is already making changes to become carbon neutral by 2030, but all of Lambeth’s communities need to take action to meet that target and address the impact of climate change, including the increased risk of flooding, heatwaves and air pollution.
Lambeth Council has published a “carbon baseline” for the Borough which outlines the amount of carbon emissions in Lambeth and their source and was due to see a Citizens’ Assembly take place, where a representative group of members of the public would examine the evidence and taken decisions on the big issues around how we tackle the climate crisis on a local level. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic delayed the Citizens’ Assembly due to restrictions on gatherings and the risk it could pose to individuals taking part. At the same time, we saw real changes in people’s behaviour – for example the huge drop in car journeys during the lockdown period and the massive increase in cycling as restrictions have been lifted.
With the Citizens’ Assembly delayed until 2021, the Council has now launched its Climate Action Hub. This website includes information on what the Council is currently doing, what residents and businesses can do to reduce their environmental impact and provides space for everyone to share their ideas on how we can collectively reduce our emissions. These ideas will be collated and form part of the work to inform the Citizens’ Assembly next year and the Council’s programme over the next decade. Whilst we do not underestimate the scale of the work required to begin to reverse the damage that has already been done, we cannot afford to sit by and take no action at all.
We want everyone to spend some time exploring this website, reading about the challenges we face and the amazing ideas that people have come up with for ways for us to work together to address the climate crisis. Not only will taking action now tackle the dangerous levels of toxic air pollution that we all breath, but it will have a positive impact on our physical and mental health and well-being. By making changes here in Lambeth we can contribute to the steps being taken globally to help save communities elsewhere from being destroyed. We need to find ways to reduce the emissions from our homes, how we move about and we need to collectively explore some big issues – like how we reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, what can be done to create more green space in a urban city like London and what do we do when the cost of making a home environmentally friendly (also called retrofitting) too prohibitive.
Please click here and have your say.