Building a stronger will to cut carbon emissions
It is estimated that 40% of the carbon emissions generated in the UK come from domestic and non-domestic buildings, so it is clearly an area that has to come under focus as part of the climate emergency declared by Redbridge Council in June.
Under the Mayor's London Plan any new-built homes are supposed to have been zero carbon, since 2016. The latest plan, extends this provision to non-domestic buildings.
Local Planning Authorities are supposed to set up carbon offset funds for developers, so that if they do not meet the zero-carbon provision a payment has to be made.
In Islington, they have been operating such a scheme since 2012, with the funds raised from the carbon offset funds being used to insulate social housing stock.
The Mayor has also operated a number of other innovative schemes to cut emissions, including the London Community Energy Fund, Re-Fit ' a retrofitting scheme and Solar Together.
In Redbridge, we need to take a comprehensive look at energy provision and emissions. It is an area that cuts across many council functions. So there are public buildings, schools, housing and a variety of other areas all impacted upon. This would include existing buildings and new housing stock, that may come about through council buying property or new builds. Equally on public buildings there are existing buildings such as the town hall and new builds such as under the hubs programme.
All of these existing buildings must be on a council property inventory, which needs to come under a sustainable energy audit. This will be a big piece of work but needs to be done if the council is to reach the targets of carbon neutrality by 2030 and zero carbon by 2050.
Redbridge council also needs to work with other neighbouring boroughs, particularly on things such as renewable energy networks. There can be joint networks and schemes that can really help reduce the overall carbon footprint.
There is much to be done, with little time to do it but the will is there to bring about change.
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