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Climate emergency

Update on the Council's Response to the Climate Emergency

Merton's Climate Strategy and Action Plan - Coming soon

The Climate Strategy and Action Plan forms Merton's response to our declaration of a climate emergency, which set net zero carbon targets of 2050 for the borough and 2030 for the Council. The draft plan was considered by Cabinet on 13 July 2020 and is due to be considered by Council on 18 November 2020.

The plan was informed by a range of inputs including:

Look out for actions to support our first year of implementation

  • Climate Communications – A call for partners – We know that giving local residents and businesses the information and support they need to reduce their carbon emissions is crucial to reaching our 2050 borough target. We are looking to develop a network of communications partners with local groups, organisations and businesses to help develop and deliver our climate communications strategy so that climate messages are more effective and reach further across the borough. Please contact the climate change team at future.merton@merton.gov.uk if your group, organisation or business would like to get involved in shaping and/ or sharing our climate communications. 
  • Climate Action Group – Merton is also looking to support local action by providing a framework to develop community-led projects that reduce Merton's carbon emissions, where joint efforts are more effective than the actions of individuals or the Council alone. More information will be provided following the adoption of the Climate Strategy and Action Plan through this website and our climate updates.

Please email future.merton@merton.gov.uk if you would like to receive updates regarding the Climate Strategy and Action Plan and the next steps listed above.

Other news

  • Local Plan - Merton's draft climate change policies for the new Local Plan have been reviewed in the context of the Climate Emergency to drive building energy performance which is compatible with our 2050 net-zero carbon target. These are due to be published for consultation this autumn. More information on the draft Local Plan.
  • Neighbourhood fund - Merton's Neighbourhood Fund awarded grants (£1.4m) to a wide-range of bidders to address the demands of development and bridging the social gap across the borough. Almost a third (£437k) of the funds will be spent on climate emergency related projects. These include community planting, Sustainable Merton's Community Champions/ Fridge projects, sustainable travel programmes and a number of efficient lighting and rainwater harvesting projects across the borough. For a full list of projects, see the Cabinet Decision
  • Green Homes Grant - Local Authority Delivery Scheme - Merton, alongside 12 neighbouring South London boroughs, put forward a collective response in support of a GLA bid to the Green Homes Grant - Local Authority Delivery scheme which has been successful. Funding will be delivered in Merton through the pre-established 'South London Healthy Homes' project. This project currently supports Merton residents over the age of 65 on a low income or with a long term health condition or disability to improve their health, creating warmer homes through the installation of energy saving measures, offering impartial advice electricity or gas bills in addition to signposting to other sources of help.
  • Greening Merton - Merton Council are supporting bids to improve our green spaces through the Urban Tree Challenge, National City Parks Foundation and the Environment Trust's Green Hubs project.
  • Morden town centre regeneration - The Climate Change team has also been helping to shape the Morden town centre regeneration project in line with the Council's climate goals. The Council was selected for the Foreground Programme run by the UK Green Building Council which focusses on informing and influencing the sustainability aspirations of strategically significant urban development projects. This involved a workshop with industry experts advising on low carbon solutions for Morden.

Why have we declared a climate emergency?

The evidence is overwhelming. In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5˚C. The IPCC found that a 1.5˚C world would have significantly lower climate-related risks for natural and human systems than a 2˚C world, and that global CO2 emissions would need to reach net zero around 2050 in order to have no or limited overshoot beyond 1.5˚C of climate change.

National, regional and local government are ready to act

The national government has committed the U.K. to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as recommended by the Committee on Climate Change. The Mayor of London committed to making London a zero carbon city by 2050 in his Environment Strategy, but is now working to bring this target forward to 2030.

Across London, the UK and the world, local authorities are declaring a climate emergency and setting targets to reduce carbon emissions. We have recognised our role in this challenge, and are embracing the call to action from Merton's residents, and have declared a climate emergency.

Sustainability and climate change have always been a priority for us. This declaration is a crucial step in achieving more carbon reductions in our operations, as well as inspiring and supporting more action across the borough.