This morning I’m standing here where the
Wandle meets the Thames to make one of the most important
announcements since I became the Council Leader. Today I make the firm commitment
to do all we can to tackle climate change which is why we have set
ourselves a target of becoming the greenest borough in London by
becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and a zero-emissions council by 2050. The threat
climate change poses to our environment is one that none of us can take lightly.
Climate change affects us all and it threatens the way of life for us and the
future generations. This is something I feel passionately about. Reducing waste
and recycling what we use is making a difference. Planting hundreds of trees every year is making a real difference. Take our fight
against the expansion of Heathrow Airport… we want to stop the damaging
effects of increased noise and worsening air quality. We are making our offices
and depots more energy efficient. On streets we are switching to LED lighting,
and we are generating our own electricity. We are promoting electric
vehicles and we have the highest number of electric charging points on the
streets. We have the highest number of people joining our car clubs reducing
the reliance on the car. We are lobbying for public transport at
the same time to help those who do not have access to a car or do not wish to use
the car; and cycling is increasingly becoming an important travel mode for
people. In our own council fleet we’ll be moving to electric or alternative fuels
again cutting emissions, but we are not stopping there!
The Wandle has now started its journey of transformation. Fish and other life
has returned and the waters now flow clean and clear. Like the Wandle we now
want to see the rest of the borough moving in the right direction to take up
the challenge and begin the work of reversing the damage to our environment.
No area of council life will be left unchallenged there is much more that we
want to do by being creative and practical across all parts of the
council. We will continue to work towards a goal of a cleaner, greener, and healthier
borough. Remember our target is to
become the cleanest, greenest, inner-London borough. I will be personally
leading this work in the council, and I know that you as Wandsworth residents will
want to join me in this. Let us work together to achieve that goal.