The report was introduced by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Claire Holland who highlighted that:
• The Climate Action Plan was developed by groups and residents across the Borough, for the Borough. The Action Plan was created following the conclusion of recommendations made by the Lambeth Citizen’s Assembly, in order to tackle the Climate the Climate and Ecological Emergency swiftly and fairly
• This was the first time for Lambeth’s leading organisations to unite in the name of the Climate Crisis, and therefore the first time to bring such a variety of expertise to the table
• The Plan set out highly ambitious goals and targets for everyone, from decarbonising the Borough’s energy systems to ensuring its food system was more sustainable, local and resilient. It included emissions reductions, more greenery for areas that were deficient, more protection for areas prone to flooding and cleaning up toxic air. It also included providing residents with more energy efficient homes
• It was the decisions being made over the next decade which would affect the lives of future generations. Lambeth Council and the Administration were committed to supporting residents and businesses to take a leading role in cultivating a more sustainable future.
Visiting Conservative Member, Councillor Tim Briggs asked when traffic would evaporate.
Visiting Green Member, Councillor Pete Elliott made a number of comments and questions around governance and whether it was still intended to work towards net zero by 2030.
Visiting Green Member, Councillor Nicole Griffiths made a number of comments around rising energy prices, and the arrangements for food waste and changing dietary habits away from animals and over-consumption.
Cabinet then heard from three members of the public, Michael Ball, Luke Plowden and Zana Dean, who highlighted the following:
• There were some concerns around the carbon emissions resulting from the construction of major developments, and the benefits of retrofitting were raised
• It was felt there was a lack of detail around funding and projected timeframes for completion. Concerns were also raised around whether the goals for Co2 reduction were measurable, as well as increased ECP levels within the Borough
• Thanks were given to Officers for their work on the Action Plan.
In response to some of the questions and comments raised, Officers and the Cabinet Member advised the following:
• The Action Plan set out the problems faced within the Borough, as well as how it planned to engage partners around its vision and aimed goals. The next steps in achieving those goals would be developed into an impact framework produced later in the year. This would include details on monitoring progress and accountability to those goals
• The report used the phrase ‘net zero compatibility’. The reason for this was that local areas were not able to reach net zero on their own, and required national support. Lambeth would be retrofitting and producing new homes to passive house standards, but due to requiring electricity, would not be officially net zero until the Government ensured all grids were zero carbon. Lambeth would strive for net zero compatibility and lobby central Government to do the same
• It was recognised that food played an important role in lowering carbon emissions, however lots of people did not have a vast amount of choice around their diet. It was important to create environments which allowed people the ability to choose, by doing things like promote low carbon diets
• In some cases, refurbishing homes would be more sustainable than retrofitting. Many factors would be considered including its current level of carbon emissions, the state of housing conditions and the urgent need for more housing.
Cabinet made the following observations:
• The current administration had achieved a lot and done some great work combatting Climate Change. This included retrofitting community centres, hostels and homes without financial support from central Government
• Cabinet was in support of three trees being planted for every tree lost
• New Home for Lambeth homes in planning and development were achieving the over 70% onsite reductions in carbon emissions compared with the 2013 Part L Building Regulations compared with the 35% reduction in carbon emissions set out in the London Plan
• Residents and Members from all parties must work together to achieve the ambitious targets set out in the Climate Action Plan and promote a sustainable future for the Borough.
Following consideration, Cabinet resolved to:
1. Adopt Lambeth’s Climate Action Plan and agree to work with Lambeth’s partners, communities, regional and central government to implement the actions necessary to achieve the climate goals.