Climate and Clean Air Annual Report 2021
The report sets out the progress that the Council has made to date to reduce direct carbon emissions, as well as tackling wider carbon emissions in the Borough, as set out in the Climate Emergency Action Plan to achieve the key target of net zero carbon emissions across the Council by 2030. The plan also details the key focus areas for 2021/22 to further reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality for residents, who are at the heart of the report.
The Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019 and has seen wider borough emissions reduced by 55.9 kilotonnes of CO2 since 2017. In this time, recycling rates have also increased from 29.9% to 35.3%, over 4,500 trees have been planted and the number of residents participating in the All Ability Cycle Training has also increased. Please see the Climate Emergency Action Plan Progress Report Summary and the Air Quality Action Plan Annual Update for more information on the climate and air quality achievements made in the last year.
Other accomplishments highlighted in report the that have been introduced over the last year to make Hounslow Cleaner and Greener include:
- Securing £18.9m national Government funding to install low carbon technologies such as air source heat pumps, LED Lighting and other energy efficiency measures in 33 school buildings and 25 council owned buildings.
- Securing funding from the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme to retrofit both private and social housing to improve energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty. Developers building new housing developments will also have to continue to demonstrate they are minimising heat loss and maximising energy efficiency in all homes they build.
- In 2020/21, the Council planted 4500 trees. Our aim is to continue the tree planting programme, increasing canopy cover to mitigate impacts of climate change and delivering on our commitment to plant a tree for every child born in the Borough.
- Allocating £1.2m to improve air quality including upgrading air quality monitoring facilities across Hounslow, conducting regular air pollution audits in and around schools and increasing stakeholder engagement and collaboration to raise awareness of the air quality agenda.
- Hounslow’s Cabinet has also agreed to adopt the World Health Organisations (WHO) limit values for measuring progress for Particulate Matter 2.5 and 10 across the borough with the aim to improving the boroughs air quality and reducing health inequalities.
- Accelerating the roll-out of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points including in all Council car parks and on any new housing developments built in the Borough.
- Introducing a dedicated Eco-Schools Programme for Hounslow school children in conjunction with Keep Britain Tidy, as well as hosting an Environment Youth Summit for schools during COP26 in November.
- As part of its Green Fleet Strategy, the Council aims to ensure 50% of its vehicle fleet, including those used by contractors, are zero emission or hybrid. This will include upgrading 230 vehicles in the fleet and trialling the use of bio-fuels for waste collection vehicles.
- Developing a Green Skills Academy to give residents the opportunity to retrain and obtain skills relevant to the Green Economy.
- Producing a Heat Map and Energy Masterplan to identify opportunities to develop District Heat Networks across Hounslow.
Read the full Climate Emergency Action Plan Annual Progress Report 2020-2021 and the full Air Quality Annual Status Report for 2020 online.