Council signs up to scheme to reduce use of fossil fuels

The council has pledged to use more renewables. Will they install wind turbines atop Farthing Down?

Croydon’s Labour-run council has promised to kick the fossil fuel habit… though they’re giving themselves until 2050 to do so. Who knows, maybe the Westfield shopping mall will have been built by the then?

The news that Croydon had signed up as a member of UK100 was made at last night’s Town Hall meeting, as the Labour administration doggedly kept pushing out what it perceives to be “positive” announcements using the council propaganda department right up to the last minute, and the start of pre-election purdah.

UK100 is a network of local authorities with the goal of using 100 per cent clean energy. The commitment means the council aims for 70 per cent of its energy to be from renewable sources such as wind, water or solar power, with the remaining 30 per cent through what are described as “low-carbon fuels”. 

The move comes soon after the council unveiled a five-year air quality action plan, which includes a commitment to cutting the use of diesel engines across the borough, a greener council vehicle fleet and doing work with local schools to promote more sustainable travel.

What the council plan failed to address is the £10million a year that Croydon is committed to paying for each of the next 25 years for burning rubbish in an industrial scale incinerator on the borough boundary at Beddington, but hey…

Stuart King, the cabinet member for environment and stuff, said: “In Croydon we acknowledge the responsibility we have as a council to take a lead and to help secure an environmentally sustainable future, both for our residents and those beyond our borough.” The councillor didn’t mention the environmental disaster that is the incinerator, though, and whether that represents “an environmentally sustainable future”.

The move away from fossil fuels is a rapidly accelerating one, though.

Data published today by the not-for-profit environmental impact researcher CDP found that the number of cities reporting they are predominantly powered by clean energy has more than doubled since 2015. CDP monitors 570 cities around the globe, and 101 of them now source at least 70 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources in 2017, compared to 42 in 2015.

That large urban centres as disparate as Auckland, Nairobi, Oslo and Brasília were successfully moving away from fossil fuels was held up as evidence of a changing tide by Kyra Appleby, CDP’s director of cities.

“Cities not only want to shift to renewable energy, but, most importantly – they can,” Appleby said.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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