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Key community organisations join council for first Climate Engagement event

 

More than 70 participants, including key stakeholders, members of the community and council officers, attended the first ever Tower Hamlets Climate Engagement Event, held Wednesday 17 March 2021.

The online conference is part of the Council’s commitment to becoming a net zero carbon Council by 2025 and a net zero carbon borough by 2050 or sooner.

It brought together stakeholders like the GLA and Council partners including Barts and the London NHS Trust, businesses, and community and voluntary organisations, who shared their actions to reduce carbon emissions and achieve a green recovery from Covid-19.

The event marks the second anniversary of the borough being the first in London to declare a climate emergency, back in March 2019.

Mayor Biggs, who opened the conference, said: “We all have a role to play, we need to think global and act local to tackle climate change. This will only be achieved by working together collaboratively to reduce our carbon footprint, as individuals, households, and organisations. This event can be a springboard for the journey toward a net zero carbon borough.”

Tower Hamlets faces enormous environmental challenges. The borough produces the fourth highest levels of total carbon emissions in London. Its location on the Thames and its densely populated landscape mean that the risks of flooding and overheating are greater than in many parts of London.

The Council has just planted almost 600 trees; it has have replaced 98% of lanterns to LED; is on track to install 201 electrical vehicle charge points on the streets by May 2021 and has transferred to a 100% renewable electricity tariff.

As well as presentations from various organisations on what action they were taking on climate change, there were breakout workshops where all participants could share ideas and suggestions on how to make a difference.

A borough-wide partnership action plan will be developed to help on the journey to becoming a net zero carbon borough by 2050 or earlier.

The event was chaired by Cllr Asma Islam, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Realm.

Cllr Asma Islam said: “It was inspiring to hear the commitment and passion of so many people and organisations who recognise and support this need for change. This event is the start on that crucial journey to Tower Hamlets becoming a net zero carbon borough by 2050 or earlier. We can only achieve that goal by working closely with local organisations, the local community and our residents.”

At last night’s Council meeting (Wednesday 17 March), councillors agreed a motion restating their commitment to delivering on the Climate Emergency Pledge.

The Council’s carbon plan, adopted by the Cabinet in March last year, targets key areas to combatting climate change such as buildings, power, procurement and waste and transport.

The partnership action plan, focusing on how the council and partners will work with residents and the community to tackle the issue, will be developed as a result of priorities emerging from the discussion.