What we’re doing to address the climate emergency
In July 2019, Brent Council declared a climate and ecological emergency and committed to do all in its gift to strive for carbon neutrality by 2030.
Since then, we have announced the creation of a Brent Climate Assembly and embarked on a climate review across the entire council to take stock of where our carbon emissions are coming from, what we are already doing to reduce these emissions, and what more needs to be done.
Both will feed into a climate strategy which will be set out in the new year (2020).
Brent’s Climate Assembly
The Climate Assembly is made up of 50 citizens from Brent, who were selected by independent experts to reflect the diversity of our borough. Young people have spearheaded the climate emergency movement, so 16 and 17 year olds were also included in the Assembly.
They took part in a series of workshops through November and December 2019. During these sessions, they discussed exciting and innovative ideas for tackling the climate crisis at a local level.
While residents were not able to volunteer to be a member of the Assembly, we wanted to hear from everybody. We encouraged residents and local businesses to share their own ideas for reducing Brent’s carbon emissions. These contributions were presented to the Assembly to reflect on and consider.
At the end of the process, the Assembly will make recommendations to the council which will be considered by Cabinet in the new year (2020).
Reviewing carbon emissions in Brent
We are conducting a climate review across the entire council to take stock of where our carbon emissions are coming from, what we are already doing to reduce these emissions, and what more needs to be done.
The review encompasses areas such as energy networks, the council’s fleet, construction in the borough, waste and recycling, and tree-planting
What are we already doing in Brent (in numbers)?
- 766 solar panels installed through council-supported scheme Solar Together, saving 49 tonnes of carbon each year
- 21,000 LED street lights installed, reducing carbon emissions by 62% while continuing to keep our streets safe
- 22 wildflower meadows planted to boost biodiversity, making up Brent’s Bee Corridor
- 150 tonnes of plastic saved by the Plastic Free Wembley campaign, including trialling biodegradable bags, made from potato peels and corn, in Wembley’s litter bins
- 115 charging points for electric vehicles installed across the borough. We aim to add 60 more charge points by March 2020
- 553 adults and 2,942 children received free cycle training in the last year
- 34,586 residents given tailored recycling advice by the Veolia education team
- Eight roads closed to polluting vehicles for London Car Free Day 2019
- One anti-idling campaign which continues to educate motorists about the harmful effect on local air pollution of idling in a car.
- Two School Streets pilots, where the roads around a school are closed to traffic during drop off and pick up times to limit toxic emissions
- 16% drop in the most polluting cars after changes to parking permits
- £50 annual diesel surcharge introduced on parking permits to encourage motorists to switch to greener forms of transport and cut air pollution
- One very green Civic Centre. The Brent Civic Centre is one of the greenest public sector buildings in the UK.
What can I do to help?
Going green isn’t just good for the environment. Other benefits include cleaner air, healthier travel, greener spaces and warmer homes! Here are a few simple things to get you started:
- Save your pocket and the planet by buying less and trying to reuse what you have. This applies to food, clothes, furniture... the list goes on! Love Food Hate Waste’s website has great recipes for using up leftovers.
- Avoid plastic. Lots of shops now sell loose fruit and veg, shampoo bars in reusable tins, and beeswax wraps which can be used instead of cling film.
- Cut the car. Walk shorter journeys, use public transport, or hop on a bike.
- Take time to separate out your waste – from cereal packets to squash bottles, lots of items can be recycled. Brent Recycleopedia is a handy tool to help you work out which bin to use.
- Save energy and cut your fuel bill by switching off lights and appliances when not in use. Check the Energy Saving Trust’s website for more tips.
- If you are lucky enough to own your own home:
- Check your loft and cavity walls are properly insulated
- Look into installing solar panels
- Consider replacing gas boilers and hobs with greener alternatives
- Install a water butt.
- Use the rain you collect to water your plants, clean your car and wash your windows