Southwark Labour Refuse to Set Deadlines for Climate Action (Again!)

Southwark Labour once again denied the request to put deadlines to their climate actions at a council meeting on Wednesday night.

Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) made formal recommendations to the cabinet to revise the council’s climate change strategy to include smart targets, staged timelines and funding requirements.

These suggestions also included a review to ensure all council policies align with the climate action plan.

When Southwark Liberal Democrat members of the committee requested those OSC recommendations be completed by the May 2022 elections, via an amendment, Labour councillors voted them down. 

The result is that Labour failed to set itself a deadline for when it would put in place deadlines on Southwark climate action. 

The party may consequently only reveal in March 2022 a timeline as to when deadlines for its climate actions could be set, if that.

This would mark three years since Southwark’s councillors declared a climate emergency.

Environmental campaigners and the Southwark Liberal Democrats have been asking for amendments to the long-awaited strategy since the summer.

When the council’s climate change strategy came out in July 2021, 18 community groups asked for it to be rewritten due to its lack of targets or deadlines.

This followed on from a two-and-a-half year wait for the climate strategy itself, which was widely criticised in its delay by campaigners and the Southwark Liberal Democrats too.

Commenting, Cllr Victor Chamberlain, Vice-Chair of OSC said:

“This is a climate emergency, but Labour are keen to treat it as someone else’s problem for another day. 18 community groups have slammed the party’s climate strategy due to its lack of targets, deadlines and ambition. Southwark Labour had a chance to rectify that, but decided to delay putting deadlines for a later day. Where is the urgency and aspiration from them in this climate emergency?”

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