Borough pledges to achieve net zero by 2045

Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets. Pic: Peter O’Connor

A Tower Hamlets partnership have pledged to achieve net zero carbon in the borough by 2045. The Net Zero Carbon Partnership Action Plan was approved by a ‘climate alliance’ featuring housing, education and business organisations, as well as Tower Hamlets Council.

The plan was announced after the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, and responded to the council announcing a climate emergency in 2019.

Carbon emissions in Tower Hamlets are the fourth highest in London; achieving net zero carbon will ensure emissions are lowered and air pollution is reduced.  

In a statement, the council said: “Under the plan, the alliance will work together towards the 2045 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions … by finding ways to reduce energy consumption, create sustainable supply chains and nurture biodiversity.”

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “The climate emergency is one of the world’s most pressing issues impacting our lives and in Tower Hamlets we are working to ensure we are as sustainable as possible.”

He added that the council welcomes the Net Zero Carbon Partnership Action Plan, and “look forward” to working with organisations across the borough as the achieving net zero carbon aims will be made possible by “working together”.

The council announced the approved plan on November 10, and alliance member Queen Mary University voiced their involvement on November 12.

In a statement, the university said their degree programmes allow students to “better understand the climate crisis and work on possible solutions”. The partnership will “focus on a fair and trust transition towards net zero carbon” by “planting trees and greening the borough”.

Dr Philippa Lloyd, Vice-Principal Policy and Strategic Partnerships and Chair of the Sustainability Committee at Queen Mary said: “We are proud to be joining Tower Hamlets’ initiative.

“We are working on driving up the University’s environmental performance, and we look forward to working with Tower Hamlets on this hugely important initiative.”

The Net Zero Carbon Partnership Plan stated that raising awareness and engaging with Tower Hamlets communities will be important for a climate emergency response throughout the borough.

Councillor Asma Islam, Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning, said: “The Net Zero Carbon Partnership Action Plan is the beginning of a longstanding partnership to create a cleaner, greener Tower Hamlets.”

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