The recent decision of Redbridge Council to declare a climate emergency was welcome news. The value of that action though will be measured according to what is actually achieved.

Supporting the motion, I argued there needs to be a total change of mindset on environmental issues, particularly in the council. The issue has come up the agenda but it was coming from a very low place.

Now it is beginning to get the priority required. But to really address the climate crisis there needs to be a plan for action.

I would suggest the establishment of an environmental charter, similar to the one started in Wanstead. The focus being on the three areas of climate change, pollution and loss of biodiversity.

There are then five areas being targeted for action in order to attain the overall objective of tackling the crisis.

These areas are cleaner journeys, reducing the mountain of plastic, waste and litter, planting more trees and plants, making homes and premises more sustainable and living lower impact lives.

In terms of a Redbridge Environmental Charter, it would be good to set some benchmark targets in all of these areas, So for example, on cleaner journeys we should be looking to reach the Mayor of London’s target of 80 per cent of journeys by foot, cycle or public transport by 2041. The level at the moment is low compared to other boroughs. Why not create a better infrastructure, with more cycle lanes, pathways and pedestrianised areas?

On plastic and litter, the recently introduced waste and recycling strategy commits to cutting single plastic use from council premises. The bigger challenge, though, is to get individuals and businesses – especially shops, to cut out single plastic use. There should also be a target set for recycling over five years. Recycling for businesses and schools needs addressing.

On biodiversity, there should be a commitment to plant a certain number of trees per year (10,000?) for the next decade. Wild areas should be left to grow with the preference or default being not to cut or use pesticide. More wild flower planting and green walls along busy roads. Also, a target to take back concrete areas, whether this be in town centres or front gardens.

On the energy question, the council should commit to all new buildings being carbon neutral, if not positive, with a target of retrofitting a certain number over ten years.

A major push on renewables, linking to programmes like the Mayor of London’s solar together can help individual households and businesses cut their carbon footprint.

Finally, the individual challenge to live lower impact lives can be encouraged, with information and services that help us all act more sustainably.

In Wanstead, people are crying out for better recycling and less plastic. They want electric charging points and places to put their bicycles. Increasing numbers of people want to do the right thing by the environment, the challenge going forward is to make that possible for them.

These are early ideas but they do point the way to the sort of prescriptive approach that needs to be taken if the pledge to address the climate crisis is to become a reality.