A carbon-free future: Haringey Zero by 2050

Low-carbon developments; future-proofed buildings; clean technology, and increased recycling could help Haringey become London’s first zero carbon borough, according to a set of ambitious recommendations unveiled this week by the Haringey Zero by 2050 Commission.

The independent commission brings together leading experts in sustainable regeneration and climate change. It was convened by Haringey councillor Natan Doron, Cabinet Adviser for Carbon Reduction, and asked to consider how the borough’s regeneration ambitions and pioneering measures could be a catalyst for carbon reduction. It was also invited to explore what more the borough could and should be doing to reduce its carbon footprint - writes haringey.gov.uk.

Commissioners last night (Monday 16 October) unveiled their findings, including a raft of recommendations that demonstrate how carbon reduction measures could be adopted in the short, medium and long term.

Haringey Zero by 2050 builds on the work of the pioneering Haringey Carbon Commission in 2009, which recommended a raft of measures to reduce Haringey’s carbon footprint, with targets of a 40 percent reduction by 2020 on track.

The Zero by 2050 Commission goes further, with ambitions for new developments to be carbon neutral and the borough to be a leader in innovative renewable energy and climate change “future proofing”.

The seven overarching recommendations – each underpinned by a series of actions – are:

  • Improve the health and wellbeing of the community by creating a natural environment through greening of outdoor spaces and mitigating the urban heat island effect
  • Create a climate change adaptation and resilience plan to future-proof and reduce vulnerability
  • Deliver a zero-carbon and net energy positive Haringey by 2050
  • Abolish waste to landfill to zero and increase recycling rates by 2020
  • Drive the uptake of clean technology across Haringey’s built environment, targeting new developments
  • Ensure that low and zero carbon buildings are delivered
  • Set a strategy for connecting communities, work places and high streets through walking and cycle paths, reducing transport emissions by 20 percent by 2020

Commission chair Andrew Gould, Partner of urban regeneration company Genr8 Developments and Chairman of the UK-Green Building Council 2009-17, said:

“I commend what Haringey have done here: they’ve set a really ambitious goal and allowed this high powered group of sustainable development professionals to challenge them on every aspect – and we have. It is tremendous to see such leadership from a public authority. As a Commission we have said we will “hold their feet to the fire’ to make sure the manifesto is delivered and we look forward to seeing this transformational plan taking shape.”

Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor of London for Environment and Energy, joined the panel for last night’s launch. She said:

“We need the strong support of boroughs, businesses and Londoners to work towards the Mayor’s ambition of making London zero carbon by 2050. This report shows that boroughs like Haringey can become zero carbon and we look forward to more boroughs making this commitment.”

The council is working on a detailed action plan to show how some of the recommendations could be met.

Cllr Joe Goldberg, Haringey Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Social Inclusion and Sustainability, said:

“The Commissioners’ report presents a bold and ambitious challenge, not only to Haringey but to the whole of London and any other city serious about achieving carbon neutrality and environmental sustainability while still delivering the growth on which our residents’ prosperity and wellbeing depend.

“I look forward to publishing our detailed response to the commission’s recommendations later this year. I’m clear that there is little in the commission’s report that doesn’t align with our ambitions for Haringey and its residents, and we are serious about implementing as much of this as possible.

“We also know that we cannot achieve our goals without looking beyond Haringey’s border – the wider city systems that are so central to the zero-carbon target can only be tackled on a London-wide basis. We look forward to working with the Mayor of London on a combined effort to achieve a zero-carbon London. That effort starts in Haringey.”

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