'It's our last chance to avert global warming': Islington climate festival set ahead of COP26

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report to warn of a dire risk to the global climate system

Last month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a landmark report to warn of an imminent and dire risk to the global climate system, and that fires, floods and extreme weather seen around the world in recent months are just a foretaste of what can be expected if global heating takes hold - Credit: PA

Politicians have given the green light to a two-week festival in Islington discussing ways to tackle the climate emergency.

The event will run from October 18-29 in the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).

The council has not yet released extensive details of the event but it hopes the festival, called Islington Together: Let’s talk about a greener future, will encourage residents and businesses to play their part in reducing the borough’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.

Councillors agreed the move at their full council meeting (23 September).

Islington has been identified as one of the six London boroughs most at risk of the effects of climate change.

Islington Council is responsible for 10 per cent of the borough’s emissions and is planning to continue working with residents and businesses to reduce the other 90pc.


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The council's eco chief, Cllr Rowena Champion, said: “We have one last chance to stop the global temperature increase”.

Islington Council's transport and environment chief Cllr Rowena Champion. Picture: Em Fitzgerald

Islington Council's transport and environment chief Cllr Rowena Champion. Picture: Em Fitzgerald - Credit: Archant

In June 2019, the council declared a climate emergency and adopted a net carbon strategy last year, which it is calling on the government to fund.

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The council has spent £17m on projects to cut emissions and £8m in further electrifying the council’s vehicle fleet and the supporting infrastructure.

Cllr Caroline Russell (Green, Highbury East) also brought a motion calling for the council to draw up a resilience plan “to protect the council, Islington residents, workers and organisations from the disruption due to future extreme weather events”.

North east London Assembly candidate Caroline Russell 

North east London Assembly candidate Caroline Russell - Credit: Green Party

She described recent flooding in the borough and elsewhere in London, and said many residents are vulnerable to floods and overheating.

She wants the council to look at extreme heat and cold in homes and workplaces and the risk of flooding.

She warned that 80pc of Londoners experienced overheating in their homes in 2015 and ambulance call-outs increase by one per cent for every degree increase in temperature over 20°C.

“Overheated homes are a public health risk,” she said.

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