Posted by Joanna Graham:
“We did it! Tonight Lewisham Council became the second London borough to declare a climate emergency and will now set about reorganizing its work and priorities to deliver a carbon neutral borough by 2030.
Thank you Lewisham Council for showing us you have the appetite for bold, radical action and leadership. This is what is needed locally, and globally, if we are to get off our current trajectory and instead create a world which is healthy and habitable for all us, our children and grandchildren, and all forms of life on earth.”
Motion to declare a Climate Emergency proposed by Cllr. Anwar (Lab) & seconded by Cllr. Krupski (Lab)
Lewisham Council notes:
Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being
felt around the world. Global temperatures have increased by 1 degree Celsius from preindustrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm) and
continue to rise. This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity;
Without significant and sustained action, the world will exceed the Paris Agreement’s
1.5°C limit before 2050. The government’s policies and programmes to cut carbon
emissions by 80% by 2050 are insufficient.
Individual and collective action is needed to make this reduction. Society needs to change
its laws, taxation, infrastructure and culture to recognise and meet the full cost of
The public sector has a fundamental role in enabling individuals and communities to make
sustainable low carbon choices.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Global Warming of
1.5°C, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to
cause compared to a 1.5°C rise. The IPCC identify that limiting global warming to 1.5°C
may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil
society, the private sector and local communities;
In Lewisham, the consequences of inaction to address this climate emergency will include:
• Increased risk of flooding and damage to buildings, infrastructure and the local
• Health problems, particularly for children, older people and those with pre-existing
• Higher living costs including energy, food, travel and insurance costs.
• Increases in social injustice and inequality.
• Financial and emotional consequences for residents with families around the world
adversely affected by the impact of a changing climate
Councils around the world, including the Mayor of London and other local authorities in
London and the UK have responded by declaring a ‘climate emergency’ and committing
resources to address this emergency.
Lewisham Council resolves to:
1. Declare a ‘climate emergency’
2. Recognise that a changing climate will have severe and enduring social, economic
and environmental implications, and that tackling climate change is an issue of inequality
as the greatest impact will be on the most vulnerable and those least able to protect
Call on the Mayor and Cabinet to:
1. Pledge to do everything within their power to make Lewisham carbon neutral by 2030.
2. Launch a review to report to on delivering a Zero-Carbon Lewisham including:
• Publishing a new Lewisham Action Plan on Climate Change, with an interim draft
ready for scrutiny by the Sustainable Development Select Committee and Mayor &
Cabinet before the end of the municipal year 2019/20.
• Setting specific and measurable targets to reduce carbon emissions for the Council
and for the borough as a whole, including costed milestones to zero-carbon;
• Consider systematically the climate change impact of each area of the Council’s
• Increase local resilience to climate impacts already in the system.
3. Task an Executive Director with responsibility for reducing the carbon emissions
resulting from the Council’s activities as rapidly as possible, and ensuring a coordinated
approach across housing, our corporate estate, transport, regeneration, planning and
4. Continue to prioritise support for vulnerable residents through the Council’s fuel poverty
programmes working with partners at a community, borough wide and regional level to
provide advice services and access to funding for heating, insulation and ventilation.
5. Accelerate existing programmes to deliver reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
including delivery of heat networks in the borough, low carbon development and high
quality housing, an efficient and low carbon corporate estate and support for renewables
and for community energy.
6. Work with partner bodies across the borough and across London to ensure the climate
emergency is adequately reflected in the development and implementation of all borough
wide strategies and plans.
7. Reaffirm Lewisham’s membership of UK100, and use our membership to work with
other councils across the UK to meet climate change targets.
8. Draw up a communications strategy to support delivery of a Zero-Carbon Lewisham
and enable Lewisham residents to make low carbon choices.
9. Call on the UK Government to provide the powers and resources to make this possible.