Hounslow’s plans to address food emissions amongst the best in the country

Hounslow has been recognised in a research study as having one of the best climate emergency action plans in the country that takes steps to tackle food waste emissions.

Published: Thursday, 26th November 2020

Image of Cllr Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities and Climate Emergency.

The new research by Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming, has found that just one third of climate emergency action plans adopted by UK councils contain new or significant proposals to tackle food-related emissions and that only 13 out of 92 plans publicly available (14%), contain proposals to tackle food emissions at the scale that is needed.

The report reveals that two thirds of local climate emergency action plans miss out food and farming, despite the sector creating 20-30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and concludes that UK councils do not currently have adequate plans in place to tackle food-related greenhouse gas emissions. Without more action, the UK risks failing to meet international commitments to keep global warming within 1.5 degrees, and achieving net zero.

The Prime Minister announced a new plan to tackle climate change last week. This did not include policies to tackle emissions from the food and farming sector or food waste, making Hounslow’s local plan more comprehensive and ambitious than the Government’s. 

Hounslow has been encouraging food production and an increase in food waste recycling by:

  • Launching a community allotment project called ‘Hounslow Micro Gardens’. A large allotment plot will be divided into smaller ‘introductory’ plots and allocated to residents without a private garden on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • Our Hounslow Response Fund has included sustainable approaches to food as one of the priorities areas.
  • Providing funding for community food growing project in Redwood Gardens,
  • Running healthy eating/cookery courses in our children's centres as part of a school programme with Cultivate London.
  • Actively planting orchards at De Brome Open Space/Leitrum Park, Pevensey Road Nature Reserve, Hanworth and support a vineyard in Redlees Park with help from the TCV Gym to maintain the vines.
  • Working towards a community food growing project as part of a larger National Lottery funded scheme in Boston Manor Park.
  • Extending our food waste recycling service to schools and flats.

Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities and Climate Emergency at Hounslow Council said:

“It is great to see that our plans to tackle carbon emissions from food waste as part of our Climate Emergency Action plan has received such ringing endorsement in this study. We have laid out a comprehensive blueprint of how we intend to reduce carbon emissions across all sectors and food waste is a key part of that.

“It is concerning that the Government does not address food waste emissions as part of its action plan. Government should be working much more closely with local government to channel investment funding to improve local food according to local priorities, if we are to achieve our net zero target as a nation and keep global warming within 1.5 degrees.” 

The report can be found here: www.sustainweb.org/resources/files/reports/Councils%20and%20Climate%20change_Sustain_advance%20release.pdf

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