Council Sets Out 2021 Climate Emergency Action Plan

Tackling food waste, switching to greener energy, and a tree planting strategy to increase the borough’s canopy are some of the key priorities set out in Richmond Council’s first Climate Emergency Strategy update.  

Significant progress has been made by the Council in the year since the Climate Emergency Strategy was published, despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has posed to climate initiatives around the world.  

In the past year, Richmond Council has transitioned to using only energy from renewable sources such as wind farms and solar panels. The Council has also continued working to support the natural ecology of the borough in line with the borough’s Biodiversity Action Plan. This has included establishment of a nursery for the endangered and rare black poplar clone trees on Barnes Common, in partnership with the Friends of Barnes Common, and securing funding from the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, which will see 123 trees planted in areas where canopy cover is less than 20%. 

The Council took part in the Carbon Disclosure Project for the first time, which rates local authorities on climate emergency work, and achieved a B rating. This is a positive achievement for an initial appraisal, acknowledging the Council has identified the risks and impacts of climate change and is taking action, including working collaboratively with key stakeholders. 

An update to the Climate Emergency Action Plan was presented to Richmond’s Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Committee last month. As well as reviewing activity delivered over the past year, it sets out the priorities for 2021, including: 

• Putting the climate emergency at the heart of the development of the borough’s new Local Plan 

• Developing and implementing the plan for Council vehicles to be zero-emission 

• Supporting residents to improve their household carbon footprint through supporting Solar Together London, a solar panel group-buying programme, and continuing to deliver the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme 

• Launching Carbon Literacy training for Council staff so the climate emergency can be prioritised by all Council services 

• Expanding food waste collection service to all suitable flats  

• Supporting businesses to invest in sustainable solutions such as e-cargo bikes 

• Identifying areas that could be naturalised or could be used to create new meadows in parks.

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