Kensington and Chelsea to be carbon neutral by 2030

The Council recognises that climate change is one of the world’s biggest challenges and will join other authorities in declaring a Climate Emergency in October. Achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030 will require a significant step change in the way the Council operates.

The move is part of the Council’s Vision Carbon Zero, an ambition for the borough to be carbon neutral by 2040, 10 years ahead of the government target. The Council will support and work with businesses, residents and local organisations to continue cutting emissions at pace.

To support the wider community to reach for carbon-neutral by 2040 the Council will consider environmental impacts when making all decisions.

Cem Kemahli, Lead Member for Environment said:

“Some councils have declared a climate emergency without giving tangible actions. We will be a carbon neutral council by 2030, beating the government’s national target by 20 years.

“The borough has made major progress, with emissions dropping by 40 per cent since 2005, but we know there is more to do. We want all of Kensington and Chelsea to aim for net-zero by 2040. We will help the community to get there, but it’s also going to need new funding, resources and powers from Government and the Mayor of London.”

The local authority will take fast action to help end its contribution to global warming, leading by example to significantly reduce emissions by:

  • Upgrading energy efficiency in all Council-owned buildings
  • Retrofitting the Council’s housing stock to make homes energy efficient and making all new domestic developments net-zero carbon
  • Investing in low emission, hybrid and electric vehicles for the Council’s fleet, from bin lorries to housing and parks maintenance cars
  • Encouraging staff to cycle and walk on their commute and between meetings
  • Developing more community energy schemes

Businesses across Kensington and Chelsea have played a huge role in tackling climate change, cutting their own emissions by 47 per cent since 2005. However, they still account for half the borough’s total emissions.

Businesses and organisations around the borough are making their own commitments to tackle climate change.

Tim Butler, Managing Director of South Kensington Estates Ltd.

“South Kensington Estates is embarking on an ambitious journey to reduce its environmental impact and we welcome the support of RBKC in meeting the challenges we face retrofitting our beautiful Victorian buildings and greening our urban estate. Our plans to be carbon neutral by 2030 depend on collaboration and courage, working with customers and neighbours to save energy, reduce waste and use less water; and introduce more trees and green spaces into our streets to improve air quality and provide cooling.”

Kensington and Chelsea’s respected institutions are contributing ideas on how we can create the technologies and designs that will help tackle climate change in the future.

Earlier this month the V&A, Imperial College, Science Museum, Imperial College and Brompton Design District and the Royal College of Art teamed up for the Exhibition Road Day of Design, hosting free events to explore the role of design in tackling climate change.

Emily Candler, Executive Director at Discover South Kensington said:

“London’s arts and science district was founded to foster innovation, promote debate and address the key challenges facing society. The Day of Design on Exhibition Road did just this, encouraging visitors to explore the role of design in fostering new ideas and changing attitudes towards food consumption, energy use and waste management.  It was great to hear the lively discussion as visitors and climate change experts discussed solutions to the challenge of climate change.”

Kensington and Chelsea is taking part in Solar Together which offers residents the opportunity to sign up to a group-buying scheme for solar panels, encouraging suppliers to offer better deals. Residents who would like to make a move towards renewable energy can sign up for free with no obligation by 22 October.