Croydon community comes together to launch Climate Crisis Commission

Fri, 03/13/2020 - 17:30


The Croydon Climate Crisis Commission, which will kick-start the borough’s move to be carbon neutral by 2030, launched on 12 March at Croydon College. The Commission has been started by Croydon Council, but will be fully independent.

The new Commission, which is part of the wider Place-Based Climate Action (PCAN) network of climate commissions, was launched with keynote speeches from Miatta Fahnbulleh, Chair of the Commission and CEO of the New Economics Foundation, Caireen Mitchell CEO of Croydon College, and Tony Newman Leader of the Council.

The independent commission’s aims will be:

  • Build on the momentum created by the school climate strikes, Extinction Rebellion, and other climate campaigners.
  • Develop an action plan for Croydon to go carbon neutral by 2030.
  • Bring together residents and businesses from across the Croydon community to get decarbonisation projects off the ground.
  • Bring experts from business, science and politics together to design and fund new carbon neutral projects.
  • Keep Croydon on track to hit its 2030 carbon neutral target.

The community in Croydon will have the opportunity to get involved in the Commission’s work by joining its working groups and participating in its outreach activities.

The independent commission will continue the work of the Croydon Citizens’ Assembly on Climate, which is due to finish soon. The Assembly is a fully representative group of members of the Croydon community, who were randomly selected and paid to participate in the process. The Assembly members have developed a list of recommendations for how Croydon can become carbon neutral, which they will pass to the independent commission to take forward over coming months. A nomination process is under way to identify two Assembly members to join the independent commission and represent the wider Croydon community.

Representatives from community organisations will also sit on the independent commission. Already confirmed are representatives from Croydon Health Services, Croydon College, Croydon Council and Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Local green activists will be represented, as will the Croydon voluntary sector. There will also be technical experts from the London School of Economics (Grantham Institute) and Retrofit Works. The commission are also working to ensure trade union representation.

Miatta Fahnbulleh, newly appointed Chair of the Commission, and CEO of the New Economics Foundation said:

“I am honoured to have been invited to chair Croydon’s Climate Crisis Commission. The urgent need to reduce our environmental impact is now well understood across society, but politics has lagged behind and we have not seen the transformative solutions required. The transition to new low-carbon industries and ways of living must happen quickly, but must also be used as an opportunity to improve the wellbeing of workers, minorities and the poorest in our society. Croydon wants to lead the country and demonstrate how a fast and fair transition can take place. The Commission, working in collaboration with the Croydon community, will drive action forward.”

Tony Newman, Leader of the Council, said:

“Croydon Council has declared a climate emergency, and set a target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. We are determined to meet this ambition, and to do so in a fair and sustainable way, but we will only succeed with the support of the Croydon community. With this in mind we have set in motion both the Citizens’ Assembly and now this Commission. The Commission will have full independence to drive forward radical climate action, to build momentum, and ask the tough questions. The Council will be lending its full support to the work of the Commission and I am excited to see what it can achieve under Miatta Fahnbulleh’s leadership.”

Peter Underwood (Commissioner), Chair of Croydon Friends of the Earth, said:

“From the recent wildfires in Australia to the flooding across England it is clear that the climate is changing and we need to act now to prevent it becoming a greater catastrophe. The Climate Crisis Commission gives us an opportunity to promote changes at individual, business, and Council levels in Croydon and we need to make the most of this opportunity as we won’t get a second chance. If we work together we can make Croydon a shining example to the rest of the country of how we can move to a new way of living in a fair and sustainable way. ”

Jonathan Sharrock (Commissioner), CEO of Coast to Capital LEP, said:

“I am delighted to have been asked to join the Croydon Climate Crisis Commission. Investing in sustainable growth which protects the environment and boosts the economy is central to the success of the Coast to Capital area and beyond. It is critical that both the public and private sector come together to understand the issues and opportunities for the future and I am pleased to be part of this group which will amplify the voices of the Croydon community. We want to make Croydon a leader in cutting carbon and hope that London and the neighbouring South East will follow suit.”

Candice Howarth (Commissioner), Policy Fellow at LSE Grantham Institute and PCAN said:

"The launch of the Croydon Climate Crisis Commission marks an important step for climate action in the Borough. The Commission will build on the recommendations of it's Citizen Jury to shape it's work programme and I'm delighted to be joining as a Commissioner. I'm looking forward to working closely with the Chair and Commissioners to deliver a climate action plan and to help share lessons learnt with the growing network of City Commissions in the Place-based Climate Action Network."

Read this blog on Croydon Climate Crisis Commission Chair Miatta Fahnbulleh

Image: Tony Newman, Twitter