Statement from Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, on the publication of the IPCC report.

Published: Tuesday, 17 August 2021

Cllr White said: “Looking at the recent report published by the IPCC, It is quite clear that important decisions need to be made at COP 26. We only need to look at the changeable weather and the fires in Greece and California to see how serious this is.

“Here in Havering we are also seeing how climate change is playing a part in weather events like storms and flooding.

"We all have a part to play in supporting the government’s commitment of being net carbon neutral by 2050. 

“With this in mind, we will make a commitment to do all we can to make sure we are more ambitious for the council to try and reach this by 2040, or before if possible. 

“We are currently reviewing everything the Council does and will publish a climate action plan in November on how we will meet that commitment.

"It will also set out what we are already doing. 

“We also have a leadership role to play and we have aspirations that the borough – which includes businesses, partners and others  - also meets this by 2040. 

“We will therefore launch the Havering Climate Challenge where we will work with these partners to see how we can meet this together. 

“It is vital to me that making meaningful change to battle climate change is something everyone has a stake in and that many of those steps are affordable for all.”

“I know some will ask us to go further and call a climate emergency. Many have done this and have done little to follow it up. 

“For me it is about taking action and setting out how we will achieve our commitments which is what we will do with the launch of the Havering Climate Challenge.

“This is why, instead, we will go a step further and sign up to Amazon’s climate pledge which aims to meet Net Carbon neutral by 2040. 

“We will be one of the first public sector organisations to do this and it asks that we measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis.

"For me this feels more a tangible commitment. ”