Cabinet in the Community tackles the climate crisis during COP26
With COP26 fully underway in Glasgow this week, Haringey Council engaged with local stakeholders on climate change and sustainability at the latest ‘Cabinet in the Community’ meeting at Alexandra Palace this morning (Tuesday 2 November 2021).
The Leader, Cllr Peray Ahmet, and Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, Transport and the Climate Emergency, Cllr Mike Hakata, both spoke at this informal gathering about the council’s plans and proposals to improve the local environment here in our borough.
Guests in the audience were also invited to have their say inside the Theatre Foyer at Ally Pally, where three breakout sessions also took place among Cllrs and Haringey residents during an hour-long, challenging and constructive session.
This is the second such 'Cabinet in the Community' event after Cabinet members joined individuals and organisations active in migrant and refugee rights and wellbeing (including Haringey Welcome) to discuss local issues back in September, with more still to come in the weeks and months ahead.
This latest meeting comes just as the local authority has launched a four-year Community Carbon Fund (CCF), which offers grants to local people and organisations who want to start – or expand – decarbonisation projects here in the borough.
A total pot of £90,000 is available for ideas to reduce emissions in the first year (2021/2022), with community groups able to bid for grant funding up to £50,000.
Cllr Hakata said:
It’s essential that our drive towards net zero carbon is a collaborative effort. We must take a place-based approach, pooling resources, knowledge and strengths.
The aim is to achieve net zero and low carbon building practices across the board, and we are working on strengthening incentives and disincentives to achieve this.
This is the perfect example of the local authority using its statutory powers to invest in grassroots knowledge and invention.
By giving local people the funding and support of the council, we can unlock the talents and creativity of our communities to tackle the climate crisis and ensure a fair and sustainable future for Haringey.
Haringey Council was also one of 28 local authorities to join the UK100 last month ahead of the COP26 summit, signing up to their ‘Net Zero Pledge’ in the process.
The pledge explicitly commits local authorities to neutralising council emissions by 2030 and ‘area-wide emissions’ – those of the LA’s businesses and residents – by 2045.
Cllr Ahmet said:
We hope that together we can increase the lobbying power of councils delivering this challenging but vital reduction ambition and that together we can share the joy, and the challenges, of addressing the Climate Change challenges we face.
As an authority, we will help you through officer and member participation at events and provide you with case studies, so others can learn from our experiences.
Christopher Hammond, Network Membership Director at UK100, said:
The fundamental challenge of our time is moving towards Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions to preserve our way of life and avert climate breakdown.
As the international community comes together in Glasgow for COP26, global decisions need to be delivered at a local level. It’s a task that will need bold leadership, legislative clarity, shifts in behaviours and enthusiastic adoption of new technologies.
Local government is uniquely placed to overcome these challenges. Not only do they provide services, but they have a unique sphere of influence.
Fantastic things are already happening form UK100’s ambitious members, in county, city and town halls across the country. They are already playing a decisive role in tackling climate change ahead of the UK government’s target, making their communities fairer, safer and greener.
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