Southwark Council commits £101m to tackle climate emergency

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air quality, southwark, climate emergency

Southwark Council backs its commitment to the climate emergency and environmental sustainability with a commitment of £101m in funding

This investment opens the door to further creative and impactful measures, that will improve air quality and bring the council closer to hitting its target of carbon neutrality by 2030.

The council will build on recent milestones, such as achieving 100% renewable electricity for all council buildings and a 25% reduction in its own emissions to date.

Southwark Council will also add to its current commitments that include: plans to plant 10,000 new trees, double the number of cycle hangars, create 60 new School Street timed road closures and continue to divest council funds away from fossil fuels.

The long-term commitment puts the environment at the front and centre and illustrates a shift in direction for the council.

This became necessary as a result of the financial impact of longstanding government budget cuts, the cost of managing the outbreak of Covid-19 and the loss of income incurred as a result of the pandemic.

The council has identified two key priorities for the coming year: to ensure the best possible future for young people and take strides towards protecting the planet for future generations.

These priorities look to protect the most vulnerable, invest in Southwark’s young people and build a better, greener future for everyone.

Plans for the £101m include making all council buildings carbon neutral by updating insulation and glazing, introducing air source heat pumps and solar panels.

It will also help to switch the council’s vehicles to electric alternatives and accelerate a 10-year programme to deliver electric vehicle charging points across the borough.

Further detail will be unveiled in the council’s hotly anticipated new climate emergency strategy, which will show how the council hopes to become a carbon-neutral borough by 2030.

Supporting local economy

Johnson Situ, cabinet member for climate emergency, planning and transport, said: “This investment will enable us to move at pace on initiatives such as bringing council buildings to carbon neutrality, as well as supporting the local economy with additional jobs.

“A different kind of future is possible, and Southwark Council will be placing our response to the climate emergency at the heart of it.

“I look forward to developing strong links across the borough’s diverse and creative communities.

“We will also be working with schools, churches, businesses, developers, financiers and more.

“Because everybody has a role to play in protecting our planet and building a better future.”

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