In January 2023 we submitted our response to the council’s consultation on the draft Climate Action Plan and Council Implementation Plan. These documents will shape Hackney's response to the climate crisis and whether Hackney can deliver on it's climate targets.
We want the Climate Action Plan to succeed and to help drive the changes that are needed to achieve the climate targets.
To that end we’ve made a lot of detailed suggestions for new initiatives to help raise the level of ambition in the plan and ways to make it more effective:
To properly engage people in the borough we’ve suggested a Climate Hub or several local hubs should be set up, allowing people to ask questions, get advice and attend workshops to find out more about climate action they can take. A citizen’s assembly is also vital to raise the profile of climate issues, engage residents in understanding the changes that are needed and having a role in making them. It is also needed to fulfil a promise made in the council’s climate emergency declaration in 2019.
We’ve suggested new initiatives on reducing emissions from consumption and waste. This is one of the trickiest areas and, while consumption emissions will probably be outside the scope of the council’s climate target, reducing them will be vital to stabilising the climate. On waste emissions we’ve called for emissions from waste disposal to be part of the climate goals and to eliminate fossil carbon emissions from the new NLWA Edmonton incinerator, which Hackney is part of, by 2030.
We’ve also suggested new initiatives on adaptation, buildings, transport and pollution to strengthen action in these areas.
We want to see a much stronger biodiversity goal including reversal of biodiversity loss by 2030. This needs to be incorporated into the Green Infrastructure Strategy, due for adoption in May 2023, as well as the Climate Action Plan.
While some aspects of education and awareness raising are included in the draft CAP we think that this is so important that education should become a whole cross-cutting theme in the CAP so that residents, young people, businesses and communities are aware of the impact of climate change and how they can contribute to helping Hackney achieve climate targets: that they are aware of the actions they can take, how climate change affects their lives and the benefits, locally and globally, of taking action.
One of the key pieces missing in the CAP is clarity about how much of the baseline emissions (2,790,000 tonnes in 2018) will be within the scope of the climate target, and whether there are separate targets for council and borough-wide emissions. There are also questions about the impact rejoining the UK100 will have on the targets, and all of this must be clarified in the final version.
The draft CAP says that the approach to monitoring will be drafted by April 2023. We want this to be published and to include an assessment of the expected impact of the proposed measures, together with a gap analysis of how much the measures deviate from the climate target emissions trajectories, basically are we ahead or behind where we need to be at this stage?
Because the objectives in the CAP are only for three years we want to see a full review after that to assess where we have got to, what more needs to be done and whether the scope of the targets can be increased to include more of the boroughs emissions.
Finally we suggest that a regularly meeting community scrutiny panel is needed to monitor and hold the council to account on the plans, actions, targets, and progress of delivery.
The CAP is being finalised now and will be adopted later this year. When that happens we’ll see how much of this is included, and we’ll publish an assessment then.
We’ll continue to scrutinise climate policy and delivery and press for more ambition and faster delivery of the vital climate targets which can help secure all our futures.
You can download our response here: Climate Action Plan Consultation_Sustainable Hackney Response.pdf
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