Bromley Labour has received a large amount of correspondence regarding our approach to tackling climate change and the council achieving net zero. We felt it would be helpful to outline our proposals in some detail.
We are happy to confirm that the Bromley Labour group, and all Labour candidates standing in the local elections across London Borough of Bromley, fully support calls for the council to declare a climate emergency. Bromley Labour Group has long proposed this, including supporting residents’ petitions, however each time it is raised the Conservative Group has voted against it.
Over the longer term, the Council should lead by setting a target to reduce emissions across the whole borough. Our position would be to commit to a target of net zero by 2035.
However, Bromley Council first needs to adopt a net zero target that actually covers all of its emissions. The Conservative Council’s current commitment covers only its “direct” activities, amounting to just 1% of emissions in the borough. It does not include the majority of emissions from many of its services, including waste management (e.g. bin lorries) and those created by Council staff. We recently proposed, and will continue to argue for, a full council commitment to net zero by 2030.
Labour in Bromley would accelerate the move towards net zero through actions including:
- Investment in active travel to encourage walking and cycling across the borough
- Investing in more electric vehicle charging points
- Implementing simple, cost-effective solutions to further increase recycling rates
- Improving air pollution monitoring and creating an air pollution action plan, targeting wood burning and reducing pollution from vehicles
- Introducing an affordable bulk waste collection scheme and increasing enforcement to tackle fly tipping
- Protecting Bromley’s parks and green spaces, including by giving local Friends groups an active role in holding the council and its contractor, IDVerde, to account for maintaining green spaces and putting them into trusts to protect them for the long term from being sold off or used for development.
Greater government commitment and working together
Achieving net zero across Bromley requires significant further action and funding from the national government, whose recent indications of pulling back from already (in our view) limited commitment to emissions reduction. We have serious concerns about the government’s direction on this matter.
Labour nationally has pledged to commit £2.8billion each year for a decade towards decarbonisation and tackling the climate emergency. We therefore consider a Labour government is needed to support local authorities, including Bromley, in delivering nationwide net zero as soon as possible.
Bromley Labour Group would also commit to working collaboratively with neighbouring boroughs, the Mayor of London, Transport for London and housing associations to act with the urgency required to gain net zero emissions across the borough and London-wide.
This is in contrast to Bromley Conservatives who rarely engage constructively with other councils, persist in dishonest attacks on the Mayor and regularly object, oppose and cut back active travel and pollution reduction schemes.
Bromley Labour Group would also commit to independent oversight of Councils’ progress to net zero, to ensure accurate and complete reporting and evidence of emission reduction across all boroughs who have made commitments.
Finally, we consider that alongside a borough-wide net zero commitment, Bromley Council should facilitate a Climate Assembly, with representation from all relevant stakeholders and residents across the borough, to work on an action plan and strategies to deliver on the commitment.
(Image credit: “Is Climate Changing Cloud Heights? Too Soon to Say” by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center is marked with CC BY-NC 2.0. To view the terms, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/?)