Climate change is one of the most pressing concerns of our time. As one of the first London Councils to respond to the climate challenge, Haringey’s emissions have been falling year-on-year. However, with more radical reductions required for the borough to contribute its fair share to reducing emissions further, its ambitions must be greater.
In 2017, recognising the need for further action, Haringey Borough Council commissioned Arup to develop a route map and implementation plan that support the borough in its path to net zero. The plan outlines the required scale of action and the potential impact of each action to achieve net zero in the borough by 2050.
Following the council’s declaration of a climate emergency two years later in March 2019, we developed this work further to understand how much sooner the borough could reach net zero and what additional action would be required. If implemented successfully, the actions will help improve air quality, increase resilience and benefit the health and wellbeing for the people of Haringey in a shorter space of time.
Our findings supported the council’s draft Climate Action Plan launched in 2020, which sets out how the borough will now become net zero nine years earlier, by 2041.
18,000 homes to reduce energy usage
50%reduction in vehicle journeys by 2024
2,000EV points by 2025
A net zero trajectory
We first undertook a review of Haringey Borough’s emissions and the council’s work to date on carbon reduction activities. Using the Zero Carbon Pathway Tool developed by Arup and the Greater London Authority in 2016, we created a bespoke emissions trajectory. The model is adjustable based on a flexible set of measures that consider the uptake of energy efficiency measures, energy supply technologies, grid decarbonisation and road vehicle transition.
Adopting the most ambitious assumptions for actions taken at a borough level, the model shows that emissions are reduced by more than 90% from a 2005 baseline by the year 2037.
Delivering the greatest impact
Activities within homes, workplaces, transport and energy represent over 90% of Haringey’s existing emissions. In response, we defined 20 actions across these four sectors to provide the greatest scope for the borough to take effective action. Development of the actions was supported by a series of interviews with council staff and informed by wider research and evidence from other projects and programmes, within London and elsewhere. Together they set out a route map for the council to achieve its zero-carbon ambition.
In 2019, we advanced our model and recommendations in response to the borough’s declaration of a climate emergency. The proposals accelerated reductions in emissions through deep energy efficiency retrofits, a faster uptake of renewable heating technologies and a rapid shift towards active travel and zero-emissions vehicles. The long-term benefits for the borough will include reduced energy costs, increased home and workplace comfort levels, reductions in noise pollution and improved air quality as well as benefits to the local economy.
Planning for a net zero future
Preparation now will help reduce future costs when opportunities to introduce change have passed or can only be implemented at greater cost and disruption. Based on the findings of our work, Haringey Borough Council has drafted a more ambitious climate action plan and recognises that enabling actions in terms of governance and monitoring, financing, and lobbying of higher-level government will also be necessary to achieve the goals it sets out.
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