Reporting Back: Greener Greenwich Strategy

by Cllr Mandy Brinkhurst, Shadow Member for Greener Greenwich

As shadow cabinet member for Greener Greenwich part of my role is to scrutinise and challenge the directorate’s progress, outputs and achievements.  What is Greener Greenwich you may ask?

‘Greenwich will have a high quality local environment where resources are used efficiently and are from renewable sources wherever possible.  Greenwich recognises its place in the world and seeks to improve the quality of life for everyone, including future generations’

Linking into the UK Sustainable Development Strategy, the role of the Council and partner organisations is to give leadership to actions tackling climate change and they have set out a range of medium and long term measures such as:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in particular carbon dioxide
  • Encouraging the design of buildings and environments that minimise energy use
  • Minimise waste and achieving higher recycling rates with the help of local residents and visitors
  • Developing clean energy sources, such as bio-fuels and hydrogen

The Council is already claiming a number of successes in meeting their commitments as laid out in their Greener Greenwich Strategy including the UK’s first low ‘Emission Zone’ on the Greenwich Peninsula, increased recycling rates, purchasing up to two thirds of the Councils electricity from renewable sources. 

The Council has also made specific commitments to improving the environment by the end of 2012 and 2015 (full details of these can be viewed on the Council’s website in the Greenwich Strategy 2006-2015 document).

In January’s Full Council meeting I posed two questions to Cllr Harpinder Singh, cabinet member for Greener Greenwich

Question 1- Can the Cabinet Member for Greener Greenwich please provide an update on how the Royal Borough of Greenwich is performing against the targets set for 2012 in relation to the Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan and the Climate Change Strategy Action Plan?

Response– The delivery of the Climate Change Strategy Action Plan and the Biodiversity Action Plan is well underway.  The Royal Borough of Greenwich has performed well against the targets set for 2012, and I will write separately to confirm this.  I will also ensure that progress is made against the remaining targets.

  • At the time of writing I am still awaiting a written response.

Question- With the transfer of Public Health responsibility to Local Authorities, does the Cabinet Member for Greener Greenwich feel the Climate Change Strategy will meet the requirements for air pollution improvement?

Response– The strategy contains a number of targets which aim to facilitate improvements in air quality within the Borough.  Whilst I recognize the important work of Public Health in this area, and will ensure that officers working on Greener Greenwich agenda capitalize on appropriate opportunities to collaborate with Public Health, I believe climate Change Strategy is robust in terms of local authority air quality.

  • Not sure if there is an answer in there or not!

As soon as I receive a written response from the Cabinet Member of Greener Greenwich I will provide an update.