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Climate targets must be backed up in policy: public demands


Climate targets must be backed up in policy: public demands


image of extinction rebellion protest

The Extinction Rebellion is planning to protest outside Southwark council on the 23rd of February to demand the council to back their climate promises with policy. 


The council is aiming to adopt the ´Southwark plan´ for 2022-2036 that contains 59 mentions of ´climate change´ but yet has 0 measurable pathways to reduce emissions. 


The plan will be effective from the 23rd February and it contains several policies on housing insulation standards, housing development plans, green spaces, industrial land use, and so on. This will be in place until 2036 and during a crucial decade for climate action, this plan will impact the decisions made within Southwark for the next 14 years. 


“We are running out of time! It has taken Southwark council seven years to draft their new plan and they still forgot to include targets to reduce carbon emissions.”


Southwark Council theoretically has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and be well on its way to being net zero by 2050. But, the plan doesn’t contain any detail on how Southwark is going to do this. 


Moreover, it does not contain targets or a baseline, crucial for the council to be able to measure its progress and understand if its actions are working or not.


In April 2021, the UK passed the sixth carbon budget into law, with a commitment to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. The new Southwark Plan does not meet the requirements to reduce emissions by 78%. 


This has revealed Southwark Council´s lack of understanding how to attenuate and adapt to the climate crisis. 


In an open letter to Cllr Kieron Williams the leader of Southwark Council by XR Southwark said: It is completely hypocritical for Southwark Council to produce climate targets and then ignore them in almost everything they do.”


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