At the February Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Committee, the council reflected on the significant progress made against their Climate Emergency Action Plan and agreed on the priorities for 2024.

Richmond aims to strengthen partnership work within the community by launching a new Climate Action Microgrants Programme and refreshing the Climate Emergency Strategy for 2025-2030.

Cllr Julia Neden-Watts, Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture & Sports Committee, said:

“As we accelerate toward our ambitious goals of becoming carbon neutral as a Council by 2030 and a Net Zero Borough by 2043, extensive work was carried out in 2023 to build on progress that has been made against our Climate Emergency Strategy since 2019. This has included bolstering how we collaborate with our communities and provide space for necessary partnership working; ensuring that our neighbourhoods and residents who are at the greatest risk of negative climate impacts are delivered tailored support; and working tirelessly on key projects to help make Richmond upon Thames the greenest borough in London.

We remain dedicated to keeping climate at the heart of local decision making and setting out robust policies and programmes that help tackle the challenges of climate change in all work we do, including in our Local Plan, to ensure that planning and development priorities demonstrate the fullest contribution to minimising greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing biodiversity.

A key priority for us in 2024 will be working closely with our communities to refresh our Climate Emergency Strategy, to cover years 2025-2030. This will focus on how we plan to continue supporting our communities to prepare for and adapt to a changing climate, as well as reducing emissions in key areas like home energy efficiency and transport. It is of utmost importance that the views, concerns and priorities of our residents and partners remain at the heart of what we deliver. I encourage everyone to subscribe to our monthly climate newsletter for updates on the strategy refresh process and how to best get involved when that work launches.”

In 2023, Richmond upon Thames achieved a top ranking on the CDP Cities A-List for the second year running, one of only three London local authorities to receive the global award recognising bold leadership on climate action and transparency and continued evidence of building on the commitments they have set out to deliver. 

Highlight achievements for Richmond delivered as part of our Climate Emergency Action Plan in 2023 include:

  • Engaging with thousands of residents and key community partners on climate action and adaptation through the launch of a Sustainability Forum, the Climate Emergency Resident Action Pack and Richmond Great Big Green Week
  • Developing an innovative, interactive climate risk map to maximise the use of local open-source data to target resources in areas most impacted by climate risk
  • Preparing key areas for flooding and flood risk through the development of a new Local Flood Risk Management Strategy and rollout of the Community BlueScapes programme
  • Delivering energy efficiency retrofits for over 80 low-energy and low-income homes and warm home energy efficiency packs to over 900 eligible low-income residents.
  • Taking action to improve air quality, including hosting anti-idling events around the borough and targeting interventions in air pollution hotspots through robust monitoring
  • Rolling out an electric cargo bike scheme, installing 525 new electric vehicle charging points and delivering a Good Move Scheme to help those affected by ULEZ save money and use greener forms of transport.
  • Expanding food waste and textiles collections and launching a programme of mega skip days to collect bulky waste, with further plans to expand electrical recycling services
  • Partnering with social enterprise Library of Things and co-working space Patch to open the borough’s first branch in Twickenham
  • Progressing the Biodiversity Action Plan in collaboration with local conservation charity Habitats & Heritage and other key partners
  • Delivering rewilding projects in schools across the borough
  • Launching a new Tree Management Policy and planting over 800 trees
  • Supporting the Cultural Reforesting project at Orleans House Gallery, helping residents to connect with nature through art

Richmond’s priorities for 2024 include a focus on the decarbonisation of homes and other properties around the borough, as well as partnership working to refresh the Climate Emergency Strategy and rollout of the new Climate Microgrants Programme, which will provide small-scale funding to local groups to develop and deliver climate action projects contributing to the borough’s net-zero targets.

Richmond’s new Climate Emergency Strategy will detail plans for becoming a Net Zero Borough by 2043, including timescales for crucial mitigation and adaptation programmes to facilitate swifter, more urgent action on climate change. This strategy must reflect the voices of local people, and community members will be called upon to get involved in and support the process.

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