Developing a Climate Emergency Strategy for Hounslow Council

6th September 2019

In support of it’s recent climate emergency declaration, Hounslow Council has commissioned us to develop a climate emergency strategy.

Utilising our experience supporting a number of authorities across the globe with their responses to the climate emergency, we will be working with Hounslow Council to develop an actionable strategy in response to the climate emergency. The strategy will encompass the council, suppliers and service users, as well as the community.

In the past eight months, 205 of the UK’s 408 principal authorities (including county, unitary, metropolitan, London boroughs and district councils) have made climate emergency declarations. Hounslow Council – which officially declared a climate emergency in June – is taking the first steps towards translating this declaration into actions.

The goal is to provide the council with an evidence base upon which it can make informed decisions about what actions to take to best mitigate the climate impacts of the borough, and about how to best maximise the impacts of those actions. It will also identify the best opportunities for Hounslow to reduce both those carbon emissions associated with council estate properties (where it is looking to achieve net zero carbon as soon as possible) and those associated with the wider borough. In addition, the strategy will include measures on climate change adaptation, drawn from our involvement in developing much of the best practice found across Europe and the rest of the world. The actions will support the Council’s Greener Borough Strategy, which focuses on priority issues such as parks and open spaces, nature conservation, ambient noise, and air quality, as well as climate change.

Recognising the importance of the role of the wider community in bringing about meaningful, sustainable change, we will be holding workshops at which both council officers and the general public will be able to discuss the climate emergency issues facing the area and inform the strategy. As urgency increases to respond to this global issue, collaboration will be key. By July this year over two thirds of London Boroughs had declared a climate emergency, and more likely to follow, the project is expected to attract attention from other London boroughs, as well as local authorities in the rest of the UK.

Alex Massie, who leads our climate emergency strategy service, said:

“Making a climate emergency declaration is an important step towards addressing the climate crisis, but only if it is backed-up by action. It’s great to see the London Borough of Hounslow taking the lead among the London boroughs by commissioning this Climate Emergency Strategy. We want to use our experience and vision to support the borough in its ambitions and we’re excited about how the the actions in the strategy are going to empower the borough to respond most effectively to the climate emergency.”

Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities and Workforce at Hounslow Council said:

“The impacts of climate breakdown are already causing serious damage around the world. We need to tackle the impact of climate change as a global community, and that means everyone should have a part to play to reduce carbon emissions and help create a greener borough.”

“As a council, we will be looking at how to reduce our emissions and carbon footprint, but this isn’t something we can tackle on our own. The climate emergency affects everyone so we have to work with residents, businesses and our partner organisations to make an impact which will protect our environment for future generations. The ultimate goal is for the council and the borough to emit zero carbon. This is a tough challenge but I am confident that by working together we can make big strides towards turning this dream into a reality.”

Photo courtesy of Sunil060902, Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.