Barking and Dagenham Council declares a climate emergency

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:59 05 February 2020

Cllr Irma Freeborn (right) puts forward the climate emergency motion at Barking town hall. Picture: LBBD

Cllr Irma Freeborn (right) puts forward the climate emergency motion at Barking town hall. Picture: LBBD


Barking and Dagenham has become the latest council to declare a climate emergency in a bid to become “the green capital” of London.

Councillors outlined plans to clean up the borough's air and become carbon neutral by 2030 at a town hall meeting on Wednesday, January 29.

They included proposals to eliminate gas boilers from council housing stock and making sure developers meet a strict green code.

Cllr Cameron Geddes, cabinet member for regeneration and social housing, said: "Councils have a crucial role when it comes to tackling climate change.

"This is about much more than the world being warmer, it is about how our residents will be affected, whether through rising energy bills or increased insurance costs to how their health and well-being may suffer."

Dozens of local authorities across the UK have now declared climate emergencies following calls from the Campaign Against Climate Change for them to act against rising global temperatures.

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Cllr Geddes added: "Our aim is to be the green capital of the capital, so our declaration today is an extension of the work we have already been doing to improve the lives for the people of our borough."

The plans also include working with homeowners and businesses to retrofit homes and workplaces as well as further rolling out electrical vehicle charge points.

The decision comes after Campaign Against Climate Change (CACC), a global warming pressure group, called for local authorities to act against rising global temperatures.

The climate emergency motion passed at the meeting includes a pledge that the local authority "will do everything in its power" to make Barking and Dagenham carbon neutral by 2030, meaning no net release of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Cllr Irma Freeborn, presenting the motion, said: "It's never been more important to act now. Let's set a legacy for the next generation to think green in our borough."

A review will also be launched tasked with publishing a climate change action plan.

The council pledged to work with other town halls through its membership of the UK100 network of leaders committed to shifting to renewable energy, which 
includes wind and solar power, by 2050.

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