Croydon’s bid to become carbon-neutral by 2030 through radical plans to tackle climate change moved forward today with the launch of the borough’s Climate Crisis Commission.
Climate change action groups, residents, pupils and businesses headed to Croydon College to hear from Miatta Fahnbulleh, CEO of New Economics Foundation, who was recently appointed as the commission’s independent chair. She was joined by speakers Caireen Mitchell, principal of Croydon College, Councillor Tony Newman, leader of Croydon Council, and Lucy Hill, from Croydon’s newly-established Citizens’ Assembly.
Launched at the start of the year, the Citizens’ Assembly is a representative group of 70 people from across the borough. The Commission will be picking up the recommendations from the Citizens’ Assembly, driving practical ‘decarbonisation’ action, and providing independent scrutiny to ensure Croydon reaches its goal of becoming a carbon neutral borough by 2030. The Assembly’s first recommendations are due to be considered by the council’s cabinet on 23 March.
At this morning’s launch, the audience had the opportunity to question a panel which included commission Chair Ms Fahnbulleh and fellow commissioners Dr Candice Howarth, Policy Fellow at the London School of Economics; Councillor Muhammad Ali, deputy cabinet member for environment, transport and regeneration, and Peter Underwood, Chair of Croydon Friends of the Earth.
Topics for discussion ranged from food consumption and recycling to a sustainable economy and zero-carbon homes.
“This is a hugely important step for Croydon. By establishing this independent Climate Crisis Commission we are reaching out to people and empowering them to lead the way to our sustainable future. We will only be able to achieve our ambitious target of carbon-neutral by 2030 by working in close collaboration with the community and the commission will be working hard to build alliances between people and organisations.”
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council
Ms Fahnbulleh said: “I am honoured to have been invited to chair Croydon’s Climate Crisis Commission. The urgent need to reduce our environmental impact is now well understood across society, but politics has lagged behind and we have not seen the transformative solutions required. The transition to new low-carbon industries and ways of living must happen quickly, but must also be used as an opportunity to improve the wellbeing of workers, minorities and the poorest in our society. Croydon wants to lead the country and demonstrate how a fast and fair transition can take place. The Commission, working in collaboration with the Croydon community, will drive action forward.”
Speaking at the launch, Lucy Hill, Citizens’ Assembly member, said: “We are pleased that that residents’ voices will be represented and would like to see the Climate Crisis Commission’s work start as soon as possible. Croydon’s success in tackling this issue will be dependent on working with the community and Croydon is ready and willing to respond.”