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Richmond named climate action leader by global environmental impact non-profit for second year

14 November 2023

The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames has been recognised as one of 119 cities across the globe — and one of three London boroughs — that is taking bold leadership on environmental action and transparency, despite the pressures of a challenging global economic situation.

The Cities A List, compiled by CDP, a global environmental impact charity that monitors and reports on climate impacts and mitigating action, is designed to encourage and support cities and boroughs to ramp up their climate action and ambition. The list is based on environmental data disclosed by cities to CDP-ICLEI Track. In 2023, just over one in ten cities scored by CDP (13% of such cities) received an A.

Cllr Julia Neden-Watts, Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Committee, said:

“We are very pleased to be included in CDP’s Cities A List for a second year in a row. To achieve this, we have had to prove that we are continuing to build on the commitments set out in our Climate Emergency Strategy to reduce our carbon footprint and make our borough more adaptable to a changing climate.

“Being transparent about our climate action and monitoring and reporting our progress and challenges is a priority for Richmond Council. By measuring, understanding and disclosing environment impact, we are able to take the urgent action needed to build a sustainable, thriving and resilient environment in which to live and work.

Reporting climate data to the CDP each year means that we are also able to benchmark against other places around the world facing similar challenges.”

To score an A, among other actions, a city must disclose publicly through CDP-ICLEI Track, have a city-wide emissions inventory and have published a climate action plan. It must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and have a climate adaptation goal to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards. Similar to Richmond upon Thames, many A List cities and boroughs are also taking a variety of other leadership actions, including commitment from the political administration to tackle climate change.

A List cities and boroughs are demonstrating their climate leadership through concerted and effective action, just as national governments will be asked to do at COP28. They are taking four times as many mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A List cities.

Richmond upon Thames and the other 118 cities on this year’s A List are also celebrated for showing that urgent and impactful climate action - from ambitious emissions reduction targets to building resilience against climate change - is achievable at a global level, and in cities with different climate realities and priorities.

Key achievements that Richmond Council has delivered as part of its Climate Emergency Action Plan include:

  • Taking action to improve air quality, including hosting anti-idling events around the borough and monitoring to identify hotspots of air pollution and sources of emissions to best target interventions.
  • Delivering energy efficiency retrofits for over 80 low energy efficiency and low-income homes.
  • Supporting access to greener, cleaner modes of transport within the community, by rolling out an electric cargo bike scheme, installing 431 electric vehicle charging points on the borough’s public highway, and delivering a Good Move Scheme to support those who are affected by ULEZ to save money and use greener forms of transport. 
  • Expanding food waste and textiles collections, with further plans to expand electricals recycling services, helping residents to recycle more.
  • Implementing innovative monitoring practices as part of a South London-wide Internet of Things project, including remote wildlife, air quality and traffic, and sensors in gullies to keep track of flooding.
  • Preparing the borough for flooding and flood risk through the development of a new Local Flood Risk Management Strategy and the Environment Agency-funded Community BlueScapes programme
  • Planting more than 2,000 new trees since 2019.
  • Developing an innovative climate risk mapping tool to maximise the use of local open source data and target resources on areas most impacted by climate risk.
  • Engaging with our communities on climate action and adaptation, including annual events like Great Big Green Week in 2023.
  • Launching the Richmond Sustainability Forum in November 2023, which will be a meeting held three times a year bringing together leaders from local business, community and public sectors, as well as passionate residents, to discuss collective action to accelerate our borough’s journey to becoming Net Zero by 2043. Register for the first forum on Wednesday 29 November

Subscribe to Richmond Council’s monthly climate newsletter.

View the full Cities A List 2023.

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Up to: November 2023

Updated: 14 November 2023

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