A report from the Executive Director – Place is attached. (Key decision – reference number 5136)
Councillor Ian Barnes (Deputy Leader) introduced the report of the Executive Director – Place providing an overview of Enfield’s Climate Action Plan and seeking approval for its adoption.
1. That the Enfield Climate Action Plan had been prepared in response to the Council’s previous declaration of a climate emergency with the aim of making Enfield Council a carbon neutral organisation by 2030. The Plan was innovative and ambitious and the significant work that has been undertaken to date was acknowledged.
2. That, as detailed in the report, a Climate Change Task Force had been set up to support the Council in managing its response to the declared climate emergency.
3. The range of challenging but deliverable actions as detailed in the Plan. Examples, including, a programme to retrofit streetlamps with LED bulbs; the development of low traffic neighbourhoods, school streets, reforestation in northern Enfield, electrification of our fleet and new ways of working.
4. The Council is prepared for multiple energy futures with leading experience in heat pump technology, decentralised energy through our company Energetik and the ambition to aim for standards such as Passivhaus.
5. That the Plan set out targets and actions for the Council and the Borough as a whole. The Council had already made its commitment to climate change clear and a number of the actions set out in the Plan had already been funded, for example, Energetik, LED lights on-street and new woodlands. Some actions would require additional resources and funding from within the Council, while others would need external funding, particularly from central and regional government.
6. The Climate Action Plan would influence other Council plans and strategies. The progress of the Plan would be closely monitored and regularly reported on.
7. The brief positive impact that the Covid 19 pandemic had had on carbon emissions with the use of fewer private vehicles and increased walking and cycling.
8. That, the majority of actions in the Climate Action Plan revolve around our ambitious borough wide Net Zero emissions target for 2040. This is a full decade ahead of the national target.
9. That the next planned engagement event would a virtual launch of the Enfield Climate Action Plan in the summer. A key part of delivering the Action Plan was an extensive long-term engagement programme with all stakeholders, as set out in the document. The Plan had been guided by the Climate Change Task Force and developed with input from across the Council. It had been informed by engagement with climate change organisations and the public. The report sought approval to delegate responsibility for implementation of the Plan to the Executive Director – Place in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member, as set out in the decision below.
10. That thanks and appreciation were expressed to the officers involved in the development of the Plan, and to the local groups and residents for their valuable input and feedback to the consultation.
11. That the Action Plan was comprehensive, ambitious and deliverable. The Council would continue to consult and work with its partners, interested groups and residents. Tribute was paid to the work that had been carried out to date by the Climate Change Task Force.
12. The proposal to retrofit the Council’s housing stock as set out in the Plan, and the significant cost of this work. It was noted that this would require substantial financial Government intervention. A trial has been introduced by Government but it was acknowledged that this should be much more extensive and wide-ranging if the UK is to meet its Net Zero target. The Council would continue to lobby Government for funding in order to implement and meet the targets set out in the Plan.
13. The detailed Borough-wide emissions as set out in the Plan. It was noted that 39% came from Transport on our roads, whereas in contrast, for example, only 0.7% of total UK emissions are from energy from waste in London. It was acknowledged that everyone should help support a significant reduction in transport emissions. The transport policies contained in the Plan would have a significant influence, including for example, low traffic neighbourhoods, to encourage more walking and cycling, school streets, a future electric vehicle charging policy and electrification of our fleet. It was noted that progress in the further use and development of electric fleet vehicles was also dependent on scientific developments as well as funding requirements.
14. The introduction of a new Council Environment Forum and the important role that it would have regarding Climate Change issues. As set out in the Plan, Members noted the proposals to divest the Council’s pension fund from investment in fossil fuel companies. Members acknowledged that the Pension and Investment Committee is a wholly independent committee with a fiduciary duty. The representations made and questions that had been raised by Divest Enfield regarding this issue. In response, it was noted that a report was due to be considered at the forthcoming meeting of the Council’s Pension, Policy and Investment Committee. Following that meeting a response would be made to the issues raised by Divest Enfield. The significant amount of work to be undertaken was acknowledged but that more needed to be done to provide detailed targets on how the committee will fully divest by 2025.
15. That the Council would continue to drive for progress and achievement of the targets as set out in the Plan and would ensure that progress and developments were communicated to the residents of the Borough.
16. That active engagement with all groups involved would continue. All Council reports now included environmental and climate change considerations. The Climate Change Task Force would continue to meet on a regular basis, with a virtual launch of the Action Plan scheduled for the Summer.
Alternative Options Considered: None, the Council had committed to tackling the climate change emergency, to do this required a clear strategy with supporting actions.
DECISION: The Cabinet agreed to
1. Adopt the Enfield Climate Action Plan.
2. Delegate responsibility for implementation of the Enfield Climate Action Plan to the Executive Director – Place in consultation with the relevant Cabinet Member.
3. Note that whilst a number of the actions in the Enfield Climate Action Plan were already funded, many others would require new funding commitments, including from central and regional government, and there would be full consideration of the financial implications as workstreams were progressed.
Reason: The Enfield Climate Action Plan defines the scale of the Council’s existing carbon emissions and sets out a challenging but deliverable set of actions to reach the target of zero emissions by 2030 (as detailed in the report).
(Key decision – reference number 5136)