COP26: Which London boroughs haven’t declared a climate emergency?

The London boroughs of Barnet, Bexley, Bromley and Havering, as well as the City of London, have not declared a climate emergency.

Just five of London’s councils are yet to declare a climate emergency, LondonWorld can reveal.

Four London boroughs and the City of London have not voted to announce a state of environmental catastrophe, while the city’s other 28 boroughs have all opted to proclaim an official eco-crisis.

The London boroughs of Barnet, Bexley, Bromley and Havering, as well as the City of London, have not declared a climate emergency.

It comes as the UK hosts COP26 in Glasgow, the official United Nations climate change conference, which is aiming to keep global warming to under 1.5 degrees and achieve a global level of net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century.

But Brent, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Haringey, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton and Newham are all among the London boroughs to have declared a climate emergency.

And Redbridge, Richmond, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth and Westminster have also all announced an eco-emergency.

Most councils have taken steps, including expanding renewable energy, retrofitting housing, committing to net zero carbon by 2030, installing electric vehicle charging points, LED powering streetlights, using recycled tyres to resurface roads and planting 4,500 trees.

In October 2021, Barnet Council said it was developing a sustainability strategy and the authority aims to make the area “the leading borough in London in sustainability”.

Barnet council leader, Dan Thomas, said: “Across London, we have seen how climate change is playing a role in extreme weather events, such as storms and flooding.

“Important decisions need to be made at COP26, and we must all play our part in supporting the government’s commitment of net zero by 2050 and cutting emissions by 78% by 2035.”

In 2019, Bromley Council said it would aim to have net zero carbon emissions by 2029, which it described as “one of the most ambitious targets of any London borough”.

William Huntington-Thresher, councillor for environment, said: “The council already has a track record of strong decisive financially positive environmental action.

“Residents can play their part by recycling as much as possible. Recycling food waste is by far the best CO2 disposal option, reducing emissions by over 98% in comparison to landfill.”

While Havering Council yesterday laid out its plan to become carbon neutral by 2040, meaning the council will not emit more greenhouse gases than it can absorb.

The action plan includes reducing transport and domestic gas use, improving air quality through cycling, walking and electric vehicles, and building energy efficient houses.

Council leader Cllr Damian White said: “COP26 ensured climate change is headline news, and we have to take action now to ensure the next generations inherit a safe and healthy world.

“Doing nothing is not an option.”

And in August 2021, the City of London Corporation agreed an action plan to hit net zero over the next two decades.

The City will aim to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2027, and 2040 and has pledged to invest £68m over the next six years to fund climate action.

The London Borough of Bexley has been contacted for comment by LondonWorld.