Council declines to declare climate emergency but commits to action plan

Havering council leader Damian White was secretly recorded earlier this year claiming he had influen

Damian White said Havering will strive to become net carbon neutral by 2040. - Credit: Mark Sepple / Havering Council

Havering Council has committed to publishing a climate action plan in the coming months as it strives toward becoming net carbon neutral.

In a statement published yesterday - August 17 - council leader Damian White made the pledge as part of a wider set of commitments around climate change.

Cllr White said: "Here in Havering we are also seeing how climate change is playing a part in weather events like storms and flooding.

"We all have a part to play in supporting the government’s commitment of being net carbon neutral by 2050. 

“With this in mind, we will make a commitment to do all we can to make sure we are more ambitious for the council to try and reach this by 2040, or before if possible."

He went on to promise that an action plan - detailing how that commitment is to be met - will be published in November. 

The leader, however, stopped shy of declaring a climate emergency - meaning Havering remains one of the few London boroughs to not yet do so.


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Cllr White claimed that many authorities that have done this "have done little to follow it up". 

“For me it is about taking action and setting out how we will achieve our commitments which is what we will do with the launch of the Havering Climate Challenge."

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This challenge will see the council work with "businesses, partners and others" to help them become net carbon neutral by 2040. 

Cllr White believes this aim represents a "step further" because it aligns with Amazon’s climate pledge.

“It asks that we measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis.

"For me this feels more a tangible commitment," he concluded.

The latest London Boroughs Healthy Streets Scorecard ranked Havering in 32nd place out of 33 local authorities in the capital, measured according to nine environmental indicators.

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