The global temperature has already risen to 1.1C, and the impacts are catastrophic. After the release of the UN’s climate assessment in August 2021, the UN Secretary-General said the report was “a code red for humanity”.

The COP26 summit in Glasgow has concluded, resulting in the creation of the Glasgow Climate Pact. Alongside global agreements, many local authorities, such as Croydon Council, have also devised their own climate strategies.

Now, countries have been tasked to put their pledges into action, with mounting pressure globally to act on the climate crisis. A recent UN report (Peoples’ Climate Vote), which represented the view of 1.2 million respondents across 50 countries, stated that 64% of people believed climate change is an emergency.

In 2019, climate change was declared an emergency by Croydon Council. The Borough of Croydon now aims to become carbon neutral by 2030. This means that all processes and operations in the Borough will become carbon-free, if the Council follows its plan. The plan entails many aspects, mainly including cycling and walking, electric vehicle provisions, green spaces, and tree planting.

Cycling and Walking

The Council has proposed to create an integrated cycle network with other boroughs, increase cycle routes, and give free cycling skills training. Additionally, they aim to encourage walking, by making it safer. Croydon has seen the introduction of pedestrianised areas, such as on Croydon High Street. Part of a £525m project, the pedestrianisation has changed bus routes and traffic flow in the town centre.

Electric Vehicles

The Borough plans to greatly increase the number of electric charging points. However, Croydon currently has one of the lowest numbers of charging ports in Greater London. Additionally, Croydon has introduced emissions-based parking charges, which provides discounts to people with low or zero-emission vehicles.

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, achieved his target of delivering 300 more rapid charging points in the capital before the end of 2020. Additionally, London’s ULEZ has been expanded, making most vehicles meet tight emissions standards. Sadiq Khan has also announced that all new Transport for London (TfL) buses will be zero-emission, and that 10% of the network will be zero-emission by 2022, and 100% by 2034.

Green Spaces and Tree Planting

The Council have committed to planting 3500 trees by 2022, to reduce air pollution and enhance the aesthetics of the area. Croydon already has some of the greatest levels of tree cover in the country, which could be due to the Council’s aim to protect green spaces. In Croydon’s Habitat Action Plan the council details how they aim to protect biodiversity in the region.