Off-target: Town Hall chiefs’ concern over net zero dates

More than half of the country’s local council leaders fear that their areas will fail to meet their own net zero targets, according to a survey published over the weekend.

Hot air: Croydon Council is among the two-thirds of local authorities who have 2030 as their net zero target date

The survey was conducted on behalf of renewable energy supplier E.ON and the Local Government Chronicle, and it questioned council chief execs and directors about their progress, or lack of it, on achieving net zero targets and what can be done to help communities lead greener lives.

Fewer than half of those questioned (47per cent) agreed with the statement “I am confident my council is on track to deliver against its net zero targets”. Yet 9-in-10 of them work at council that has set a deadline for its own operations to become net zero.

The UK government has adopted a net zero target for 2050.

More hot air: this from an environment report by Sutton Council, which hosts Viridor’s polluting incinerator

In June 2019, Tony Newman, the then leader of Croydon Council, declared a climate and ecological emergency in the borough. This included the target of Croydon being carbon neutral by 2030. And he then promptly did next-to-nothing about it (he set up a “commission”, but this only produced more hot air. The report from March 2021 can be seen here).

Croydon, together with nearby Kingston, Merton and Sutton, have a bit of a problem ever getting close to their net zero target date, since they are locked in to a 25-year contract that runs until 2043 and which sees the four boroughs in the South London Waste Partnership paying £1billion to Viridor for burning most of their residents’ rubbish at the diesel-guzzling, toxic-polluting Beddington incinerator.

According to the Local Government Chronicle survey, Croydon is among 64per cent of councils who have 2030 set as their net zero target date.

The LGC says, “When asked about their wider geographical area, councils said they were allowing more time to meet net zero goals. Just under half (47per cent) said their council was aiming for 2030 at the earliest and almost a quarter (24per cent) said their council was aiming for 2050, in line with the UK government’s target.”

The survey also found:

  • 92% agree all new-build housing should be built to a net zero standard
  • 58% supported the use of heat pumps as a sustainable solution to reducing fuel poverty and combating the climate crisis
  • 86% said better energy efficiency is the single most important measure for making progress towards net zero

Read more: Incinerator goes 7 times over level for acidic hydrogen chloride
Read more: Sutton planners add fuel to incinerator fires with dirty diesel
Read more: Viridor incinerator given 20 warnings in just 15 months
Read more: Viridor breaking rules over incinerator’s pollution reports

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About insidecroydon

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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1 Response to Off-target: Town Hall chiefs’ concern over net zero dates

  1. Martin Rosen says:

    I’m entirely uninterested in whether or not Croydon (or any other Borough in the country) meets its 2030 target.

    Firstly, it is abundantly clear that there would be a massive cost incurred by taking the actions that are needed to achieve net zero, and following the pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine (and the consequent inflationary crisis) we simply dare not spend the money on achieving net zero.

    Secondly, the whole assumption that net zero is a “solution” to nature’s work in creating climate change is scientifically unproven and therefore foolhardy. The various theories on climate change make a well-known fatal assumption – that statistical future performance is based on statistical past performance, or in other words “what goes up will continue to go up … for ever”.

    I note with some disdain that the climate change “experts” keep on giving us a further 10 years to Doomsday; that will probably continue for a further several decades before the whole subject is dropped.

    Of course I’m just another chronic cynic 😉

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