Our Climate Now achievements so far
Since 2019, the Council has undertaken a wide range of measures to improve air quality and address climate change. They include:
- The Healthy School Streets scheme, which was introduced at five schools in late 2019. The schemes involve closing roads around particular schools during drop off and pick up times to create safer environments for walking and cycling, while improving air quality in the vicinity of the schools.
- Working with local schools on anti-idling campaigns to improve air quality and reduce C02 emissions.
- Involvement of young people on climate issues through the Youth Citizen’s Assembly on Climate Emergency, which met and gave a report to Full Council in September 2019; and with olders residents through the Newham Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change, which was convened in February 2020. Other resident engagement and involvement events have included the Newham Climate Now Forum in September 2019, which brought together leading experts and local and national campaigning groups, and the Council’s Peace event in the autumn of 2019, as an alternative to the DSEI Arms exhibition being held at the Excel Exhibition Centre in the Royal Docks, Newham, which had a central focus on green, sustainable economics, with participation from leading economists and campaign groups in the field.
- Newham’s Air Quality Health Champions – comprised of resident volunteers who help to raise awareness about air quality and the impact it has on respiratory health, while building and supporting health improvement in Newham’s local neighbourhoods and across communities through practical initiatives such as vehicle anti-idling campaigns, supporting schools to work on air quality initiatives, raising community awareness and understanding of air quality issues and how they can be tackled locally, and supporting action by local businesses.
- Mass tree planting in Beckton District Park South, during National Tree Week, in December 2019.
- A food waste pilot scheme the findings of which will be used in 2020 to help residents reduce the amount of food waste they produce, and cut both CO2 emissions and their food bills.
- The introduction of low-energy light-emitting diode (LED) lighting in 85 local authority housing blocks in the borough to reduce energy consumption and running costs.
- Redistribution of surplus food that would otherwise go to waste. Between April and mid-June 2020, as part of the Council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions, 150 tonnes of surplus food had been utilised through the Help Newham local hub, in collaboration with a network of local voluntary sector partners under the auspices of the ‘Newham Food Alliance’, saving over 550 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
These and other initiatives are summarised in our Climate Emergency Annual Report (PDF).