To receive an update on the Climate Action Plan from Dominic Millen (Group Leader of Transport, Planning and Policy).
The Forum received an overview on the progress of the Climate Action Plan 2020-2021 by Dominic Millen, Head of Climate Action and Sustainability.
There has been significant progress over the past year with recent highlights including:
1. Developing and soft testing of Ethical & Sustainable Procurement Policy
2. Draft Local Plan including progressive approach to new domestic buildings
3. Recruiting a Water and Energy Officer and looking at jointly funded post to cover buildings
4. Early work on green business forum
5. Published Schools’ Climate Action Handbook
6. Retrofit London action plan drafted
7. External engagement and reporting.
There is also the preparation of the 2020-21 Progress Report, which will include:
· Highlights from 2020/21
· Review of carbon emissions in 2020/21
· Challenges and opportunities such as adaption and resilience, alignment with the UN’s sustainable development goals and embodied carbon.
· Updates on each action and key performance indicator.
The Progress Report delivers against the Council’s commitment to review performance and publish progress on an annual basis.
The intention is to have a four-week engagement period in July / August with publication in August. The engagement period is seen as an opportunity to get:
• Thoughts on how we can best talk to people about our work and what is of most interest.
• A better understanding of what you are doing and your climate action priorities.
In response, the following comments were received:
a. Cllr Rawlings noted that it was pleasing to see adaptation is being looked at.
b. The recycling rate is low in Enfield and it would be beneficial to all concerned if the residents can get involved in some way, albeit small, so that they can be seen to make a difference. It was noted that improving waste collection and recycling rates, as well as addressing fly tipping, are being looked at and feedback can be given to a future meeting.
b. Cllr Rawlings asked if the Climate Change Task Force minutes were available on the website and in response, it was confirmed that the aim is to put them on the Council’s website around two weeks after the meeting.
c. Cllr Rawlings was concerned that the public engagement covering a 4-week period during the busy holiday period was not an ideal time with school holidays etc. In response, it was acknowledged that an earlier start to the engagement would have been preferable but had not been possible due to staff capacity
d. Cllr Rawlings asked when in the autumn the progress report would be ready, and it was confirmed that the aim is to publish it in August.
e. Cllr Saray Karakus asked if public briefings were to be arranged to talk through the plans. In response, Dominic advised that the Climate Action and Sustainability would be happy to speak to interested groups.
f. Dennis Stacey asked for clarity on how the waste was delivered to the North London Waste Authority incinerator and whether using waterways had been considered. In response, Dominic advised that this would require vehicles to take waste to loading points so would be unlikely to reduce vehicle movements. Dominic also advised that a transition to update our whole fleet is due to take place by 2030.
g. John West asked for clarity on Retrofit in relation to Council buildings. In response Dominic advised that the optimal route is to do it all at once and get payback through energy efficiency. However, this has a high initial cost so is not always possible. It was agreed that focusing on low cost items first can be cost effective but that there is usually still a need for investment in items such as heat pumps.
h. Does Doughnut Economics come into the plan as Cornwall are doing this. In response, Dominic advised that it is an interesting approach and falls under the review of the Climate Change Action Plan. The Doughnut Model was used for the Meridian Water Sustainable Strategy and provides a blueprint for other areas too.
Post meeting note: Doughnut economics is a visual framework for sustainable development – shaped like a doughnut or lifebelt – combining the concept of planetary boundaries with the complementary concept of social boundaries.
i. Andrew Newman asked if the voluntary sector is being factored into the Climate Change Action Plan. In response, Dominic noted that the sector had limited capacity at the moment, but the Council would still try engage them in climate related work.
j. Dominic confirmed the Action Plan has factored in electric vehicle chargers and that 80 lamp column chargers had been procured with installation underway, which is in lie with the Climate Action Plan target of 250 sockets by 2025.
k. Andrew Newman asked if it was more cost-effective to demolish and rebuild some of the old sub-standard housing stock. In response Dominic agreed that it can be cheaper to rebuild in terms of costs but embodied carbon has to be factored in. Also most of the poorest performing home are privately owned so redevelopment is not something the Council can deliver directly. It was noted that larger older houses in conservation areas are difficult to retrofit and works have to be sympathetic to the character and fabric of the building.