Lambeth Climate Assembly to present recommendations

Recommendations by Lambeth’s Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change will tomorrow (22 July) be presented to a steering group representing key organisations in the borough.

The assembly’s 50 members, who were chosen at random from local residents, made reducing the number of journeys by private vehicles in the borough their first recommendation.

Encouraging and enabling more cycling in Lambeth is the second.

The council made a commitment to reduce its carbon “footprint” to zero by 2030 and established the assembly to build consensus on how to do this.

Ensuing that vulnerable people are supported as changes to transport in the borough are introduced is a high priority for the assembly.

The recommendations also emphasise the urgency of tackling the climate crisis.

The assembly calls for the creation of a specific council team with responsibility for a “just transition”, adding: “everyone needs to take steps to protect groups who are more vulnerable or likely to be more adversely impacted by changes, such as older people, disabled people, and those on low incomes”.

Other recommendations include:

• The council, businesses and financial organisations to collaborate on a borough-wide “retrofit” building programme to be implemented in the next five years to improve the energy efficiency of homes in the borough

• Lambeth businesses to switch to green transport within three to five years

• Energy efficiency targets for developers and housing providers

• Fines and rewards to ensure proper recycling by large businesses

• Green spaces to be “reclaimed” for biodiversity projects and food growing

• The council to replace car parking spaces with green spaces and cycle storage

• Taxes on the biggest polluters and funds driven towards local sustainable growth

Assembly members heard six weeks of testimony from climate experts, campaigners and local community groups.

woman with bike
Lambeth Council leader Claire Holland

Council leader Claire Holland said: “Throughout the process the assembly members demonstrated a desire to think of our most at-risk residents, a commitment to listen to the science and a passion to build a fairer more just society – one which takes everyone along the journey with us and ensures no-one is left behind.

“Their recommendations are even more powerful after a year in which we’ve seen the unequal impact of Covid-19 on our communities here in Lambeth, a pattern we know will be repeated if we don’t take bold action to tackle climate change and its effects.

“I’m proud that the assembly has decided to put Lambeth’s residents at the heart of ‘building a fair recovery with climate at its heart’.

Lambeth was the first London council to declare a climate crisis and set a target to reach net zero carbon emissions across the its services, estate and operations by 2030.

Assembly member Ewure Esi Ansa-Otu said: “My experience has been really interesting – I didn’t want it to come to an end.

“The organization of the programme and the collaboration has been great.

“Most important is the diverse nature of the speakers – from professors and lawyers to self-employed, the council, school children and people with disabilities.”

Read the full recommendations