Residents are being asked to help Islington become more resilent in the face of climate change – with council bosses launching a Go Zero call to action.
The borough is one of six in London deemed most vulnerable to flooding and extreme heat, and has the smallest amount of open space in the city.
The environment and regeneration scrutiny committee hosted an online public meeting to discuss the council’s progress towards its target of becoming net-zero by 2030.
Cllr Rowena Champion, executive member for environment, air quality and transport, told residents: “People who lived through last summer will understand the impact of the climate emergency.”
She added: “We need to protect our planet. We need to protect Islington and Islington people from the worst excesses of flooding and excessive heat.”
It comes as 93 per cent of residents in a focus group told the council they were concerned about climate change, with just one per cent saying they were not worried.
The group of 40 people also said saving money was a clear driver in cutting energy consumption and they also want the council to think about the barriers to change, such as concerns over road safety stopping people getting on their bike.
The council is launching six weeks of climate change action with a series of ways for residents to help.
It has teamed up with “anchor institutions” including the Whittington Hospital and universities to promote ways to reduce carbon use.
This week, it launched its first Go Zero action by teaming up with Arsenal Football Club to encourage people to recycle old sports kits ahead of Earth Day this Saturday.
People can bring old boots and trainers to Arsenal’s collection points at Friday’s match, or at Highbury House, the Arsenal Hub, and their London Colney training centre. The sports shoes will be donated to local schools.
They can also bring equipment such as footballs and tennis rackets to be swapped or upcycled at the Arsenal Hub in the shadow of the club’s world-famous Emirates Stadium.
Keith Townsend, the council’s director of environment said: “It’s important that we work with residents.”
He urged the 70 people who attended the meeting to contact the council with their idea and said it was looking at ways to help people change their behaviour.
The council is planning to set up a citizens’ panel and pay for members to do climate awareness training.
Recruitment is likely to get under way this spring with the first quarterly meeting in September.
Residents and council staff discussed plans for retrofitting homes to make them more energy efficient, how to encourage more people to get involved in reducing, reusing and recycling items, and changing the way people travel.
Islington is extending its network of low-traffic schemes to cover more of the borough as part of its aims to cut the 16 per cent of carbon emissions caused by traffic.
Some residents said a lack of confidence in getting on their bike, worries about bike theft and the cost of bicycles would hold them back.
The council said it offers bike training courses.
It is also drawing up a new local supplementary planning document with guidance for making plans as green as possible, such as using renewable energy, and it wants to hear what residents think will be helpful.
It will hold a public consultation this summer followed by a further consultation on the draft document in the autumn.