Received: 19 May 2022
We write as part of a national research project being undertaken by universities throughout the UK and being led by the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF). The research is exploring the work in tackling climate change and the need to significantly cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It builds on the work throughout 2021 which was drawn together in the report: Climate Emergency Declaration Research London (City University, October 2021, CED Research London). The regional report fed into the national ELF report: Local urgency on the Climate Emergency? A review of local authority Climate Emergency Declarations and supporting action across the UK (ELF, Oct 2021, www.elflaw.org).
Both reports highlighted the achievements in supporting climate emergency declarations made by a large number of local authorities.
This second year of research is focusing on local government decision-making (and, in particular, in land use planning) alongside community engagement. These two areas are seen as critical in helping to secure carbon reduction and recognises the need for public bodies to take action in addition to reducing their own GHG emissions.
We have carried out some preliminary research into how Barnet is tackling the climate emergency and note that the Council has not yet declared a climate emergency and the only information generally available was that Barnet was supporting the first London Climate Action Plan in 2019; some three years ago.
In the light of our research we have set out questions which we would be grateful if you could provide in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.
1. As a preliminary question we would be grateful if you could confirm the present status of any climate action plan or strategy that is being progressed by the Council. Please provide details of the achievements to date in the Council reducing its own emissions and any action to work to reduce GHG emissions in the Barnet area. .
In particular, we would be grateful if you could provide us with a copy of any net-zero plan that the Council has and confirm what carbon reduction targets it sets and what are the Council's achievements to date in meeting these targets.
In relation to land use planning:
2. Please confirm (a) the question of the climate emergency is being expressly mentioned in the Local Plan, and (b) if so, when the Council intends to adopt the new Local Plan. We note that the Barnet Climate Action Group (BCAG) made representations to the emerging Local Plan in August 2021 and would be interested as to the present position in terms of the local plan.
3. Please provide a note of all planning applications in the last 2 years that have been refused primarily on the basis of climate change concerns.
4. Please provide details of all planning application in the last 2 years have been granted because they will or should be securing significant carbon reduction in the locality and the wider world.
In relation to community engagement:
5. Please confirm whether the Council is working with community groups/organisations in the locality on climate change policies (e.g. the BCAG) or adopted any associated plans or strategies in that regard.
6. Please provide details of any other local community action your Council has taken in relation to any plans and commitments relating to any Climate Emergency Declaration it may be considering.
7. In the Council's opinion, is there any additional support from central government that could assist local authorities in meeting their carbon neutral targets?
Outcome / Documents
- Response (all information to be supplied) - application/pdf - Download