Climate Emergency News: Reflecting on 2019 and what's next for 2020! 📊💡♻️🏡

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Climate Emergency News 

Walthom Forest

2019 Reflections


What a year! Last year Waltham Forest Council declared a climate emergency and established the Climate Emergency Commission to help shape a local strategy that will reduce the borough’s contributions to climate change, impact policy affecting local services and businesses, and enable residents to take control of their carbon emissions.

The Climate Emergency Commission, which was officially launched in September on World Car Free Day, is made up of experts across the energy, waste and environmental sectors. In 2019 they met four times, from September to December, to discuss themes and hear from experts on subjects including transport, homes and businesses in the borough. 

The first Climate Emergency Commission meeting of 2020 took place on Thursday 9 January, where biodiversity, adaptation and resilience was discussed with presentations from the Woodland Trust and the Greater London Authority's Green Infrastructure Team. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 5 February and the focus will be on waste & the circular economy.

Following each meeting, papers and presentations are available to read at

Climate emergency survey headlines

Thank you to everybody who responded to Waltham Forest Council’s climate emergency survey – thanks to everyone who filled it in and shared it with their friends and family. In total we received over 3,000 responses, making this the largest ever public survey undertaken by the council.

Of the many respondents, 72% said they were very concerned about the climate emergency, with 85% agreeing that climate change is already having an impact on the UK. 71% thought that climate change is already affecting their local area either a great deal or to some extent.

The survey has also given the council a clear indication of what residents’ priorities are for addressing the climate emergency. A massive 90% of respondents wanted to see more trees and plants in the borough, while 84% wanted support for residents and businesses to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. A further 73% wanted a reduction in car journeys through good public transport and helping people to walk and cycle more easily and 80% supported renewable energy generation such as more solar panels on rooftops.

City trees

city tree

Waltham Forest Council has achieved a London first and permanently installed two City Trees in Leytonstone. CityTree is a free-standing outdoor air cleaning system that uses the power of biotechnology to emulate the pollution-reduction benefits of 275 urban trees.

The City Trees, or moss trees, are the world’s first biotech pollution filter and use living plants to filter pollutants from air, creating microenvironments of cleaner air that benefit residents and passers-by.

They are self-sustaining structures that contain a water tank, with automatic irrigation and plant sensors all powered by on board solar panels and batteries. The different types of moss bind environmental toxins such as particulate matter and nitrogen oxides while at the same time producing oxygen. 

Read more about it here

Click here to listen to Cllr Clyde Loakes speak about the benefits of City Trees on BBC London's breakfast show

Council leader Clare Coghill meets Commission members

Cllr Claire Coghill with Commission co-chairs

Ahead of January's meeting, Commission co-chairs Syed Ahmed and Lucy Padfield caught up with the Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Cllr Clare Coghill. 

Cllr Coghill said: “It was great to meet Syed and Lucy in person to discuss the work of the Climate Emergency Commission. In Waltham Forest we have ambitions to be the greenest, most sustainable borough in London and our track record shows that with strong leadership and a bold approach, communities, local businesses and authorities can achieve real change. The Commission’s recommendations will help to ensure that the green agenda underpins future council decision making, policies and programmes.”

Perky Blenders

Perky Blenders

At the end of 2019 we caught up with the founders of local coffee roasters Perky Blenders, Adam and Victoria Cozens. They told us a little about their company and how they’re doing their bit to tackle the climate emergency. Watch the interview 

A word from Toby Bancroft – Woodland Trust

Toby Bancroft

Our latest blog has been written by Toby Bancroft, member of the Climate Emergency Commission and Regional Director at the Woodland Trust.

Toby is one of several experts working on the commission to help tackle the climate emergency and his blog focuses on the benefits of trees and Waltham Forest’s recent successes in planting and preserving them. Read Toby’s blog here.

Keep cup

keep cup

Have you considered a Keep Cup? We caught up with Chris Baker, General Manager of Keep Cup, to find out more about his business and the very simple idea it all started with. Watch our video here.

Did you know...

In Waltham Forest, residents can currently recycle around 75% of all household waste on their doorstep including food waste, garden waste, glass, cans, plastics and paper. And yet the council estimates only about 32% of household waste in our borough makes it into the green recycling bin or the brown garden and food bin, as most recyclable items are still being placed in the black bin. You can find out how to recycle more here.

From March, residents will be able to recycle and have collected small electrical items, clothing including shoes, and household batteries on their bin day along with their other recycling- meaning some 85% of all waste can be recycled on your doorstep! This will make it even easier to recycle as much as possible and reduce our negative impact on the environment. Watch this space for more info!

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