There is good news on the Climate Action Plan, with a 16.2 per cent cut in carbon emissions from Redbridge Council sources over the past year.

The plan was drawn up as a result of the climate emergency declared by the council in 2019.

Some of the major gains have resulted from switching to green energy sources for different council functions.

Other positive developments have come from schemes like the Go Green Grants that have provided funding for retrofitting to improve energy efficiency for households on low incomes.

Work is under way to reduce emissions from the council’s vehicle fleet – using electric where possible, adding solar panels and exploring alternative fuels.

Electric charging points are rolling out in streets across the borough, with 600 due for installation in 2023.

Recycling levels have increased by around ten per cent as a result of the wheelie bin roll out as well as the expansion in the range of recycling that can be accepted to include plastic pots, tubs and trays and foil.

Active travel measures are another area of progress, with some 9km of segregated cycle lanes rolled out. School streets schemes which restrict traffic around schools are being introduced to more schools to make the area around them safer for children and encourage walking and cycling. This can help reduce emissions and also improve air quality.

The west of the borough is now covered by the London Mayor’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) which is also having a significant impact on air quality.

There is, though, much more to be done. Funding is key. And that’s where central government needs to step up. Though the agreement of the funding settlement with TFL was welcome, it offers much less to boroughs than in previous years. More funds are needed to really scale up the response to the climate emergency, including more retrofitted buildings, cycle lanes and electrification of travel.

Then there is the biodiversity crisis to address, which links to the climate emergency. The grow zones, extension of community garden and allotments and the net gain in biodiversity will come, with new developments under the Environment Act, from next year.

The council also has to be a catalyst to bring about change in the wider society, encouraging people to live more sustainably.

Everyone can do something. Save energy, drive and fly less.

  • Paul Donovan is a Redbridge Labour councillor for Wanstead village and blogger. See