An Islington Labour motion to Full Council, unanimously passed on 27th June 2019, has seen Islington Council declare an environment and climate emergency, and commit to achieving a net zero carbon Islington by 2030.
Ahead of the meeting, Islington Labour councillors joined local residents and activists at a rally outside the Town Hall, which was also attended by Jeremy Corbyn MP and Emily Thornberry MP (pictured above).
The declaration of an environment and climate emergency follows a United Nation’s report on climate change that found that the world has until 2030 to prevent an increase in global temperatures above 1.5˚C, at which point the impact of global warming will have devastating impacts on the planet and people’s lives.
Speaking in support of the motion to Full Council, Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said:
“We face a climate emergency and it demands of us an urgent and comprehensive response. For too long the world’s response has been piecemeal, pedestrian and platitude heavy.
“Islington Labour is committed to making our borough a fairer place for all, and we cannot hope to achieve this if we do not ensure that our environment and climate are protected for generations to come.
“Islington has now called time on the scandalous obfuscation that has delayed action and we declare, here and now, that enough is enough.”
Islington is at the forefront of efforts to reduce carbon emissions, with the borough on track to reduce emissions by 40% by 2020 (from 2005 levels), but will now work towards the new ambitious target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030 – ahead of the current 2050 target.
Under Islington Labour’s leadership, Islington Council has already:
- Insulated cavity walls, replaced boilers, carried out loft insulation work and installed solar panels in the Council’s buildings and homes saving over 9,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
- Replaced all streetlights in the borough with more efficient LED versions, reducing carbon emissions by the equivalent to removing almost 1,000 cars from the road each year.
- Connected 800 homes, two leisure centres and offices to the Bunhill District Heat Network, a ground-breaking scheme that uses waste heat to deliver more efficient, cheaper and greener energy to local people, and work is ongoing to deliver a new energy centre that will extract waste heat from the London Underground to supply a further 1,000 homes.
Following a commitment in the Islington Labour 2018 Local Elections Manifesto, Islington Council’s Pension Fund has also made bold moves to decarbonise its investments by reducing the fund’s exposure to carbon emissions by more than half, reducing the fund’s equities’ exposure to fossil fuel reserves by more than three quarters and decarbonising the fund’s holdings in other asset classes.
Islington Labour’s motion to Full Council, which can be read in full here, commits the Council to making representations to government about the need for additional resources and legal powers to support the action needed to tackle the climate emergency. Achieving a net zero carbon Islington will require the Council to work with partners across the borough and for reducing carbon emissions to be embedded in all relevant Council decision-making.