New figures released by Lewisham Lib Dems show Lewisham Council is failing to sort out their own emissions, despite declaring a “climate emergency” in February and committing to zero carbon emissions. 1
The figures were revealed in Freedom of Information request and show that of the commercial property managed by Lewisham council, barely a quarter have energy use compatible with the UK reaching “net zero” emissions. The Committee on Climate Change say that only properties with an energy performance certificate (EPC) of C or above would meet their recommendations for reaching net zero by 2050. 2
The Government have also introduced new regulations designed to push landlords into improving energy efficiency. These mean that only those properties with an EPC of E or above can be let to new tenants. The figures show that 46 out of 162 Lewisham properties would fail to meet these regulations, meaning that they cannot now be let to new tenants. 3
This could potentially impact on Lewisham’s rental income from these properties, particularly once the rules are toughened in 2023 and it becomes illegal to let these properties to existing tenants.
Lewisham’s public buildings have an even worse energy performance. Only one out of 19 properties has an EPC equivalent of C or above. Seven would be illegal to let out commercially under the Government’s energy efficiency rules.
Lewisham set itself a target seven years ago to reduce emissions by 44% by 2020 but its own properties are still lagging behind.
Four months on from declaring a climate emergency, Lewisham’s Cabinet has yet to formally discuss how it will deliver its zero carbon commitment.
In addition, the Sustainable Development Select Committee has put the climate emergency declaration at the bottom of its work programme and won’t get to it until March 2020. 4
Lewisham Lib Dems spokesperson Ade Fatukasi said: “Anyone with any sense would agree that climate change is an emergency. But the point is we need to act now.
“These figures show that, seven years on from setting a carbon reduction target, Lewisham is drifting along rather than treating this like a real emergency. Getting to zero emissions will be hard but we need to start now and tackle the hard to treat emissions like those from heating buildings.
“Lewisham Lib Dems are calling on the council to report on the climate implications of all policies, as they do with equalities impacts. Every decision the council takes will either help or hinder us in the fight against climate change so it’s vital councillors know what the implications are.”