Local carbon offsetting at the heart of Camden climate review

We have now published the third annual review of our Climate Action Plan 2020-2025, our five-year programme of projects and activities organised around the themes of People, Places, Buildings and Organisations that brings to life the vision of our Citizens’ Assembly on the climate crisis.

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden

Put simply, the climate emergency is the most serious threat that our planet, its people, and all forms of life face. To play our part in Camden, we have reduced carbon emissions from our own estate and operations by 59% since 2010, and overall carbon emissions across Camden have reduced by 45% since 2005, but we know we need go further and faster.

Our third annual review showcases the breadth and depth of climate action taking place across Camden.  The levels of community-led climate action are fantastic to see and demonstrate how seriously people in Camden take this issue.

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden

In 2019 we declared a climate emergency, and held the UK’s first Citizens’ Assembly UK’s on the climate crisis, as part of an unprecedented community engagement process around Climate Action that informed the Climate Action Plan, and committed to doing everything we can to make Camden a zero-carbon borough by 2030.

Councillor Harrison continued:

“If Camden is to play its part in the climate crisis, everyone living and working in the borough will need to become increasingly aware of the impact they are having and reorientate their activities to cut carbon wherever possible. 

“We know that this won’t be easy, so our Climate Action Plan focuses on creating the foundations for a zero-carbon future, while supporting community-led action which realises climate and social benefits, through funding such as the Camden Climate Fund.   

“My top highlights from this year’s review reflect this collaborative approach and the wide range of direct and supporting actions that we are undertaking. These include establishing a permanent programme to support the roll out of parklets across Camden, delivering the first phase of Camden’s Local Area Energy Plan and increasing the number of projects which can offer organisations a reliable and trustworthy option to locally offset their carbon emissions.”

A parklet is created by changing a parking or loading space into a shared space for people, kept safe from traffic by planters. They can be used for a variety of functions, creating a place to sit, talk and relax. They are open and free for anyone to use. Following a successful trial, we will continue to create a mix of community and council and partner sponsored parklets.

We will be leading, in partnership with the GLA, the development of the first phase of North London’s Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP). A LAEP sets out the changes required to transition a community’s energy system to Net Zero over a set period.

In partnership with Retrofit Credits, we have pioneered a new approach to carbon offsetting for Camden businesses and organisations. Retrofit Credits allows Camden based organisations to offset their residual carbon emissions locally by purchasing carbon credits secured directly from energy efficiency improvements made to social housing in Camden. We are one of twenty-two social housing providers to have participated in the carbon credit pilot. Over the next twenty years, it is forecast that the credits generated through the pilot will raise over £7 million that can be reinvested back into retrofit works across the social housing provider partners.