More than 60 residents attended the borough’s first ever Newham Climate Now! Open Forum to look at how they could help tackle the ongoing climate emergency.
Reducing global greenhouse gas emissions is a priority for Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz, who earlier this month launched a consultation into a draft Air Quality Action Plan which proposes actions for the council to deliver between 2019 and 2024. The proposed actions aim to reduce pollution and improve the quality of life, health and welfare of Newham residents.
At the forum, residents had the opportunity to put forward their views on the plan, take part in discussions on the climate emergency, and suggest how they think they could help.
They heard from speakers including Aaron Kiely from Friends of the Earth, who gave a talk on ‘Climate emergency as the issue of our generation’, and Syed Ahmed, a climate change energy consultant.
Councillor Zulfiqar Ali, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, Councillor Mas Patel, Commissioner for Air Quality and Climate Emergency, and Helen Masterson, Noise and Pollution Manager at Newham Council, all spoke specifically about the issues facing the borough and the steps which had been already taken to reduce greenhouse gases.
A BBC video on climate change presented by Sir David Attenborough was also shown.
Councillor Patel said: “This was a superb forum with excellent speakers and some great ideas shared by residents passionate about taking urgent action to tackle the climate emergency.
“Newham Climate Now! highlights how all council services, decisions and policy making can impact the environment, and there is so much more we all can do to tackle the problem. There is no time to delay - we all have to make changes to our life and put climate change at the top of our list of priorities. By making better choices we can improve the quality of the air we breathe and protect younger generations from further harm.”