Greener Hackney

When it comes to tackling climate change, we’re one of the most ambitious councils in the country.
Since we declared a climate emergency in 2019, we’ve:
  • planted thousands of new trees
  • installed new zero-carbon energy on many of our buildings and
  • transformed more than half of Hackney’s streets to make them better for walking and cycling.
The council only has control over about 5% of the borough’s emissions, which is why we all need to work together to create a greener, healthier Hackney. This will help cut energy use, tackle pollution and boost biodiversity.

Our work

We’ve done lots since declaring a climate emergency: planting thousands of trees, switching our electricity supply to 100% renewable and introducing new School Streets and low traffic neighbourhoods to encourage people to leave their cars at home and walk and cycle instead.

We will report back on the citizens’ assembly in our update to Full Council this summer.

Later this year we will also be consulting residents on our climate action plans – which outline how we will work together with local residents to tackle the climate crisis. These cover seven themes:

  • retrofitting homes
  • low carbon development
  • renewable energy
  • low carbon transport
  • consumption-based emissions
  • the green economy and a just transition
  • resilient and green

What are the biggest contributors to emissions in Hackney?

The biggest contributors to emissions in Hackney are consumption emissions – the things we buy, use and sell – which represents 73% of the borough’s emissions. 

This includes where money is invested, meat, aviation, food and drink, clothing and footwear and more.

Energy in buildings makes up 21% of the borough’s emissions. This is predominantly made up of gas and electricity used in homes and non-domestic buildings. 

Fuel for transport, including cars and motorbikes, lorries and buses makes up 6% of the borough’s emissions. 

The Council has control over some of these, such as through schemes like School Streets, which encourage children to walk and cycle to school, and by encouraging people to recycle more.

Climate action plan

We’ve worked with local residents to create a new climate action plan for Hackney, which sets out what we need to do together to make sure Hackney no longer contributes to climate change – and how we’ll build a greener, healthier borough as a result. 

If we all take action, we’ll have cleaner air, our homes and buildings will be warmer and cheaper to heat, we’ll repair more, making the goods we use last longer, we’ll have more green space, and we’ll eat more food that’s grown nearby. We’ll also help create new green jobs dedicated to this work. 

The climate action plan isn’t just for the Council. It’s for residents, businesses and local organisations to help guide our collective response to climate change. It’s organised into five themes:

  • adaptation – ensuring that Hackney is prepared for and resilient to the impacts of the climate emergency – like flooding or hot weather – protecting the most vulnerable residents
  • buildings – removing gas boilers, adding solar panels and decreasing energy use in the borough’s existing buildings by retrofitting and ensuring new buildings (where required) are fit for the future – this will help to reduce fuel poverty
  • transport – reducing emissions from transport, improving air quality and helping residents live an active and healthy lifestyle
  • consumption – changing what and how everyone in the borough buys, uses and sells, helping create a new green economy in Hackney
  • environmental quality – maximising the potential for biodiversity in our green spaces, reducing pollution and helping local ecosystems thrive

Under each theme, the plan sets out goals and objectives for the borough that help guide how residents, businesses and organisations respond to the climate crisis.

Read the full climate action plan (PDF 19.7mb).

Read summary of the climate action plan (PDF 2.1mb).

Listening to you

We need to work in partnership with everyone in the borough if we’re to create a greener, healthier Hackney and end the borough’s impact on climate change. 

Hundreds of you had your say on the climate action plan and we have summarised your views. See Appendix 3 – Consultation report on draft Climate Action Plan (PDF 2mb)

In March 2022, we hosted our first ever citizens’ assembly on the climate crisis, where we heard local residents’ views on tackling emissions from homes, and from the things we buy.

 Change One Thing

We know that the climate crisis – and knowing how you can play your part in tackling it – can be daunting for many.

That’s why we’ve launched Change One Thing – a campaign of simple pledges to help inspire each other to take action and rebuild a greener Hackney.

You can share something you’re already doing – or something new, taken from our list of pledges.

Share your pledge on our virtual board to encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same.

You can also tag us @hackneycouncil on social media and use #ChangeOneThing to share your pledge.

What could you pledge?

  • reduce energy use by turning your thermostat down
  • sign up for our Green Homes programme to help insulate your home
  • switch your energy supply to 100% renewable
  • order a food waste caddy and start to recycle food waste
  • eat less meat and dairy
  • buy food produced in the UK where you can
  • cut back on flying
  • leave the car at home and walk, cycle or take public transport instead
  • respect and protect green spaces
  • avoid single-use items and fast fashion
  • tell others about the changes you make
  • repair your shoes, clothes and electrical items if broken
  • buy second hand online or in charity shops

The Grantham Institute at Imperial College London suggests more ways you can reduce your impact on climate change.

The benefits of taking action

Across the world and in Hackney, limiting changes in temperature will help to prevent the extreme events caused by climate change, such as increased drought, flooding, heatwaves and fires. 

The Met Office has more information about the effects of climate change on the UK and the world.

Many of things that will help to create a greener, healthier Hackney – such as warmer homes, higher levels of walking and cycling, fewer car journeys, more trees and greenery – have direct benefits for Hackney residents:

  • making the borough’s homes warmer and more emergency efficient will provide hundreds of local jobs, and reduce our reliance on gas to heat our homes
  • neighbourhoods with less traffic will be quieter and have cleaner air
  • we can live healthier lives by walking and cycling more
  • we can ensure there is greater biodiversity and there are more green areas in the borough
Page updated on: 18 July 2024