Today is World Environment Day (WED), celebrated on the 5th of June every year it was started by the United Nations in 1974 and is the principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action to the protection of our environment.
Since declaring a climate change emergency in July last year, climate change has remained a top priority for the council. However, communication around climate change within the council has taken a backseat to critical COVID-19 information.
Cllr Rory Wyatt, who leads on climate change in Parminster, felt WED was a good opportunity to remind the borough of the council’s ongoing dedication and commitment to their climate change goals as well as give an update on the progress that has been made since the beginning of March.
Cllr Wyatt said: “Our work has continued on climate change amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and it remains a priority for the council. We have, for example, completed the baselining of our carbon emissions as an organisation which will be published at our next finance committee.
“Very recently we have begun to implement the first of our school streets, shutting off traffic around five schools already. We are also asking the Mayor of London to support us in reducing all Parminster roads to 20mph on TfL route. However, there is plenty of work still to be done.
“During the lockdown, not only in London but the world over, we have seen some of the clearest and cleanest air in decades. While we can’t stay inside forever, we now know what a huge and immediate impact things like driving less and shopping local have on restoring our environment.
“Our efforts during lockdown have provided us an opportunity to build on the environmental progress we have made. So, for World Environment Day, we must remind ourselves of the challenge ahead of us and what kind of permanent changes are we willing to make collectively to get there. Please keep letting us know what matters most to you.”
The council is providing an update on the Parminster Environment and Sustainability Strategy on July 2 on the climate change actions delivered since February, including publishing the carbon emissions for Parminster Council as an organisation and an overview of climate change related impacts of the current COVID-19 crisis.