London's 32 boroughs and the City of London are taking action to be the solution to climate change. Many boroughs have declared a climate emergency, and all will be making changes in their own local areas through climate action plans. They are also working together in our seven collaborative climate programmes to share best practice, join up activity, and grasp economies of scale.
From tackling carbon emissions from motor vehicles, to building local green economies, and sourcing and creating sustainable energy, local government is an essential partner in delivering the transition to net zero. Councils have a unique understanding of their local context and strong local relationships, allowing them to deliver this work effectively.
This is important work. We have already seen the growing impact of extreme weather events in London. From our annual polling, we know that Londoners across the city and in all demographic groups are motivated to tackle climate change and want to see action.
We also know that to maximise the boroughs' contribution, national government must put in place a clear framework for regional and local climate delivery and a just transition that creates good jobs, supported by the right powers, resources and incentives.
Climate change in London
From extreme heat to flooding events, the impacts of climate change are already being felt in London: in our 2021 climate change poll we found that 55% of Londoners say their day-to-day life in London has been impacted by the changing climate.
We also know that Londoners across the city and in all demographic groups are well aware of climate change (with 94% of Londoners somewhat or very aware of climate change), and are motivated to tackle climate change (89% of Londoners are very or somewhat motivated to help prevent climate change).
We have also worked with the University of Leeds to understand consumption emissions in London boroughs.
London Councils are also part of the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission.
Borough action on climate change
London’s councils are crucial in the fight against climate change.
London boroughs have adopted a variety of targets in respect of reducing council-generated emissions, though the majority have a target of net zero emissions by 2030, which the Mayor of London has also now adopted. Some boroughs have also adopted emissions reduction targets for their borough as a whole. Find out more about the boroughs' targets here.
28 boroughs and the Mayor of London have also passed 'climate emergency declarations' and those boroughs that have not passed declarations are also taking action on climate change.
27 boroughs and the City of London Corporation have now published Climate Action Plans detailing how they will seek to meet their targets, and all boroughs will be publishing one in due course.
Many of London's officer groups are actively looking at how they can support councils' emissions reduction targets, including the London Environment Directors' Network (LEDNet), who have established a climate 'cluster' to provide leadership on this issue, and the London Housing Directors' Network.
London Councils' climate programmes
In November 2019, LEDNet and the Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) came together to discuss key climate change issues facing boroughs and how they could work together to address them. The result was an ambitious Joint Statement on Climate Change, that sets out seven major programmes for cross-borough working.
The programmes have TEC-endorsed lead boroughs, each responsible for overseeing the implementation of an action plan. There are seven programmes. Many of the programes have a Knowledge Partner - a London university helping their work.
Retrofitting all domestic and non-domestic buildings to an average level of EPC B.
Lead boroughs: Enfield and Waltham Forest
Find out more here.
Secure low carbon buildings and infrastructure via borough planning.
Lead borough: Hackney
Halve road journeys made by petrol and diesel via combined measures that can restrict polluting journeys and incentivise sustainable and active travel options.
Lead boroughs: Kingston and City of Westminster
Secure 100% renewable energy for London’s public sector now and in the future.
Lead borough: Islington
Reduce consumption emissions by two thirds, focusing on food, textiles, electricals and plastics.
Lead borough: Harrow
Develop London's low carbon sector and green our broader economy.
Lead borough: Hounslow
Lead borough: Southwark