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Sutton climate and ecological emergency

Climate emergency events - have your say

We’re holding events across the borough during February and March:

  • Sutton Library, 11am - 7pm, Wednesday 19 February 2020
  • St Mary's Church Beddington, 11am - 1pm, Friday 21 February 2020
  • Phoenix Library, 10:30am - 1pm, Friday 28 February 2020
  • Waitrose Cheam (outside), 11am - 2pm, Sunday 1 March 2020
  • Belmont Train Station (outside), 5 - 8pm, Tuesday 3 March 2020
  • Westcroft Leisure Centre, 11am - 1pm, Wednesday 4 March 2020
  • Waitrose Worcester Park (outside), 11am - 2pm, Sunday 8 March 2020
  • Circle Library, 10am - 3pm, Tuesday 10 March 2020
  • Wallington High Street (Wallington Square), 9:30am - 1:30pm, Saturday 14 March 2020

In addition to these events, we will also be attending the borough's six Local Committee meetings. To find out when and where your next Local Committee meeting is taking place, check the committee dates calendar.  

Come and speak to us to help shape Sutton’s response to the climate emergency. Tell us what you think about our suggested actions, and any barriers which might prevent you from doing more.

You’ll also be able to give your feedback online. If you’d like to suggest an event or a meeting for us to attend, or have any questions, please email sustainability@sutton.gov.uk.

 

We’ve declared a climate and ecological emergency - what does that mean? 

Sutton has always been committed to protecting and improving the environment for future generations. 

Declaring an emergency means we recognise we need to accelerate our plans. It is too late to stop climate change. It’s not too late to reduce the impact it will have. 

Sutton is already being affected by climate change - and the actions of people and organisations in Sutton are contributing to climate change here and elsewhere in the world. 

If everyone acts, we are able to make a difference both to Sutton and around the world. 

 

What is the climate and ecological emergency?

The climate emergency recognises the significant impact on our planet of increased carbon dioxide emissions. This has and continues to rapidly drive up global temperatures impacting our environment, weather, eco-system and more.

The rapid change requires a robust and rapid response to achieve a net-zero carbon environment. Net-zero (sometimes termed carbon neutrality) means the carbon emissions produced are either eliminated or balanced through removal of carbon from our atmosphere. 

To better understand the impact and current situation in Sutton view our Climate Emergency Data page

 

What is the council doing? 

Our existing Environment Strategy sets out our actions on the environment to 2025 and our ambition to be London’s most sustainable borough. Many of these actions remain valid and need delivering - but potentially at a faster pace than planned. We are in the process of reviewing this. 

View our current projects and initiatives page for details of what we are currently delivering.

We have sent a letter to our public sector partners to find out what action they are taking to reduce carbon emissions in the borough. We will be writing to more partners soon. 

London Councils is leading work to develop collaborative projects between London Boroughs to tackle climate change and respond to the declared climate emergency. This includes a series of joint projects which Sutton will be part of. 

There will also be new actions we need to take which we are in the process of identifying. For some areas, there aren’t better solutions than the ones we have already, even though we know an improvement would be better. So we will need to keep adjusting our plans over the next decade as new technology and solutions become available. 

 

What should I be doing? 

There is plenty every person, business, school, charity and organisation can do. Take a look at our pages here or attend one of our upcoming events to find out more. 

What are Sutton’s biggest carbon emissions? 

The latest available data for the UK is collected by the Department of Business, Innovation, Energy and Skills and dates from 2017 as the data is on a two year time lag. The National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory lists the top three areas of emissions in Sutton as: 

  • Domestic gas
  • Industry and commercial electricity
  • Road transport (minor roads)

The data can be viewed here: https://naei.beis.gov.uk/laco2app/

 

What about other emissions? 

The council has an Air Quality Action Plan which forms part of the Environment Strategy. Our work to continue to reduce particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide emissions continues. 

You can read the Air Quality Action Plan here.

 

What about trees? 

Trees, grasslands and other habitats contribute to the capture and storage of carbon and so protecting them is vital. Planting more trees and creating new habitat is part of the solution, but by itself will not be enough because there is not enough space to do so. 

Planting trees in your own garden, even in a pot on a balcony, contributes to reducing carbon. 

 

Is net zero carbon achievable? 

Achieving net zero carbon will be challenging and require action from everyone, locally and globally. Significantly reducing emissions from current levels is definitely possible. Any remaining emissions are likely to need offsetting through a regulated source, but this needs to be a last resort rather than an easy alternative.