Kingston Council declared a climate emergency in 2019, shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. In 2021, Kingston Council encouraged people living in the borough to join its 'Climate Conversation' and respond to surveys to give feedback on their plan to 'tackle climate change'. Since then, the council has updated its approach to limit Kingston's impact on the environment.


Kingston's Climate Action Plan was approved on the 10th of March 2022. The plan's key principles are to prioritise green energy, reach and influence those who aren't typically interested in climate change and consider the climate implications of each action and policy. 

This will undoubtedly have numerous positive impacts, including better air quality; an increase in green spaces with more biodiversity; and an increase in locally generated energy.

The plan, which will be monitored every step of the way, is divided into 7 themes meant to combat specific areas of climate change. 

Theme 1 (titled Efficient Homes and Buildings) encourages energy efficiency, sustainable development for future buildings in the borough, and investment in energy efficiency. Theme 2 (How we Travel) wants to reduce pollution and emissions from vehicles, continue to encourage cycling, consider making a south London ULEZ and discuss with TFL the possibility of being considered in Zone 5 to make bus fares cheaper and more accessible. Theme 3 (Natural Environment) aims to protect and enhance the natural environment, establish a Kingston Biodiversity Partnership to protect habitats and adopt a Tree Strategy in which 500 trees are planted and maintained each year. 

Theme 4 (Waste Reduction) will continue to encourage increased recycling - in addition to the already high 46.7% recycling rate - encourage composting, and improve Kingston's waste facilities. Theme 5 (Sustainable Council) wants to bring the estate to carbon neutrality by 2030, end single-use plastic in council operations, move to 100% LED Street Lighting in less than a year, and consider the future impacts climate change might have on the council when building future council buildings, for example, the increased risk of floods. Theme 6 (Green Economy) plans to support local small and medium businesses to reduce carbon emissions by accessing funds and legal advice and encouraging new start-ups that stress green innovation. 

Finally, Theme 7 (Everyone Together) acknowledges that only by working together can we as a borough install change in our community. The council wants to raise awareness and engagement among the local people. They will do this by making schools more sustainable and encouraging re-use and 'sharing culture'.

These ongoing actions will be developed and defined as time goes on. The council acknowledges that some actions may be unpopular or unsuccessful, but its transparent approach should instil trust and support in the community.