Sunday, 24 November 2019

Brent's Interim Climate Emergency Plan - is it enough?

Monday's Full Council Meeting will be presented with Brent Council's Interim Climate and Ecological Emergency Action Plan. This needs to be seen in the context of the Council declaring a Climate Emergency and the setting up on a Climate Assembly  and the recent  consultation on climate change actions concluded last week. The wider context is of course the global climate crisis and at street level issues such as the Mapesbury asphalting of walkways controversy and the community battle to save mature trees in Furness Road.

The Report going to the Council Meeting sets out the following framework which is elaborated in the Action Plan. There has already been criticism that the detailed actions, whilst welcome, are not sufficiently radical and joined up across the Council and such criticisms are likely to be raised at Wednesday's Round Table meeting at Brent Civic Centre which is discussing a Brent bid to the National Lottery Climate Action Fund. 

Community leadership: As the democratically accountable body, we will provide the necessary leadership on this issue to bring the community together to address this issue with a positive and collaborative agenda, ensuring that the carbon neutral transition is fair for all.

Leading by example as a council: Reducing emissions from our own estate and   operations (corporate properties, vehicle fleet, street lighting/signage), from council housing and from our construction programmes; improving the environmental sustainability of the Council’s procurement of goods and services, reducing our dependence on damaging materials such as single use plastics.

Strategic planning and infrastructure:  Ensuring that environmental sustainability goals are fully integrated in strategic plans such as the Borough Plan, Local Plan, Inclusive Growth Strategy, Housing Strategy, Transport Strategy, Parking Strategy, Waste Strategy, Digital Strategy, Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. Creating better recycling, walking and cycling infrastructure; supporting green enterprise and reskilling the workforce; delivering borough-wide decentralised energy schemes including community owned renewable generation.

Partnership: Developing pan-London and cross-borough initiatives where these can improve our impact. Build on existing and create new partnerships with key sectors in Brent including public sector partners, business and industry, energy suppliers, schools, residents’ fora and community groups.

Attracting investment: Ensuring that Brent secures funding from existing and future national and regional programmes for carbon reduction, energy efficiency, waste reduction, air quality, sustainable urban drainage, biodiversity and tree planting.

Enabling: Making it easier for people in Brent to reduce their own impacts, for instance, allocating the Carbon Offset Fund for household, business, school and community carbon reduction initiatives.

Community engagement: Providing direct advice, for instance on recycling, and signposting residents to advice and support from other agencies such as the Energy Saving Trust.

ACTION PLAN (click bottom left for full size version) 

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