Haringey's Landmark Climate Change Decision

Cllr Natan Doron on Haringey Council's landmark decision to back climate ambition, building on its strong record of environmental leadership.

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This week was a really significant one for taking action on climate change, protecting nature & improving well-being in Haringey. At our full council meeting on Monday night, cross-party approval was granted to accept 65 out of 71 recommendations from the Zero by 2050 commission.

The Zero by 2050 commission builds on the work of the pioneering Haringey Carbon Commission in 2009, which recommended a raft of measures to reduce Haringey’s carbon footprint, with targets of a 40 percent reduction by 2020 on track.

Zero by 2050 goes much further, with ambitions for new developments to be carbon neutral and the borough to be a leader in innovative renewable energy and climate change “future proofing”. In addition, it makes recommendations to reduce air quality and expand access to green spaces in Haringey.

The Zero by 2050 recommendations that Haringey accepted fall under these seven headings:

  1. Improve the health and well-being of the community by creating a natural environment through greening of outdoor spaces and mitigating the urban heat island effect 
  2. Create a climate change adaptation and resilience plan to future-proof and reduce vulnerability 
  3. Deliver a zero-carbon and net energy positive Haringey by 2050 
  4. Abolish waste to landfill to zero and increase recycling rates by 2020 
  5. Drive the uptake of clean technology across Haringey’s built environment, targeting new developments 
  6. Ensure that low and zero carbon buildings are delivered 
  7. Set a strategy for connecting communities, workplaces and high streets through walking and cycle paths, reducing transport emissions by 20 percent by 2020

The equality impact assessment on the decision we have taken to accept the Zero by 2050 recommendations found that they will deliver an improvement to all Haringey residents. These include improvements in air quality, addressing fuel poverty and improvements in well-being & health.

It is perhaps unsurprisingly therefore that Haringey been praised by Shirley Rodrigues, Sadiq Khan’s Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment, for showing massive ambition on energy and the environment.

This all builds on other amazing work like Cllr Clare Bull leading Haringey to divest pension fund money away from fossil fuels, Cllr Peray Ahmet leading on securing £5.8m from the liveable neighbourhood fund and of course the original Haringey 40:20 commitment made with the support of Quentin Given from Haringey Friends of the Earth & other local green groups.

Major credit has to go too to Cllr Joe Goldberg who has provided very strong leadership on carbon reduction for years. He has made Haringey a shining example for other local authorities and is a true hero of climate action. Joe stepping down is a huge loss to climate politics & I hope future Haringey councillors protect Haringey’s status as a world leader on carbon reduction and protecting the environment.

Climate change and environmental harm always impact the poorest hardest – in Haringey, in the UK and across the world. Addressing these issues is about furthering social justice and the Labour movement should be proud of what Haringey has achieved.

Natan Doron is a Haringey Councillor, where he is a Cabinet Adviser on Carbon Reduction. He is also a former member of the SERA Executive.

For more detail on the Zero by 2050 recommendations that were accepted at the Council meeting this week then please read from page 477 onwards in this report: https://www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/documents/g8195/Public%20reports%20pack%2004th-Dec-2017%2019.30%20Full%20Council.pdf?T=10 

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