Thurs 27 Feb 2020 Following on from last October’s meeting where the ideas in the *above diagram* were collated, a new Clean Air and Climate Emergency Reference Group has been formed. We took part in this first meeting organised by Hounslow Council, alongside other interested local community groups. Some key points: the Council plan to be net zero by 2030, will be using 100% renewable energy by Oct 2020, are planning solar farms in Hillingdon, solar panels in schools, and are making progress with electrification of their vehicle fleet.
Some specific points on Air Quality progress
• Reduction in NO2 concentration levels at Brentford (11%), Chiswick (11%) and Gunnersbury (15%) between 2017-2018
• June 2019 saw the introduction of a new Low Emission Bus Zone between Chiswick and Kensington
• The LEZ will be expanded to cover all of Greater London on 26 October 2020
• The ULEZ will be expanded to the North & South circulars on 25 October 2021
The Council is also improving infrastructure for cyclists including cycle paths and bike parking such as bike hangars, raising awareness of ‘anti-idling’ in schools, and will be increasing the current number of electric charging points from 80 to 150 by April 2020.
Mark Frost summarised the new Climate Emergency Action Plan
In June 2019, Hounslow declared a climate emergency and they have developed a set of seven programmes to tackle this by reducing emissions from the council’s own estate: Energy efficiency, Renewable energy, Electrify vehicle fleet, Reducing employee transport, Waste management, Culture change and governance, Sustainable investment and funding
They will also work across the Borough with our strategic partners, businesses and the community to deliver a wider programme tackling all emissions attributed to activities in the borough: Retrofit Hounslow and deliver zero carbon housing, Sustainable travel promotion, A transition to electric mobility, Greening the borough, Develop net zero lifestyles, Stimulate the local green economy.
It was interesting that carbon emissions from the local authority’s estate has been worked out as 79% allocated to gas, 17% to electricity, 3% to fleet emissions and 1% estimated impacts from employee commuting and business trips.
[Breaking news reached a phone announcing that expansion of Heathrow Airport’s third runway had been ruled illegal over climate change.]
Laura Parry, Senior Transport Planner at Hackney Council, gave an enlightening review of the amazing work they’ve been doing in the borough and alongside neighbouring boroughs. They focussed on working with local businesses in heavily polluted Shoreditch, with a bank of offers from arranging a Bike Doctor session for workers to get on their bikes, to grants of £2000 to help dispose of diesel vehicles and they’ve managed to save 350 kilos of NOx, the equivalent of 70,000 van journeys. They have an aggressive policy on parking and have converted several of their car parks in to ‘parklets’ (small parks)… a delightful idea.