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Climate emergency

Working towards a net zero carbon Islington by 2030

Islington Council declared a climate emergency in June 2019, recognising the need to drastically reduce carbon emissions in the borough. The council made a pledge to work towards being a net zero borough by 2030.

Achieving net zero in Islington 

Islington Council set out its approach to achieving a net zero borough by 2030 in its strategy, 'Vision 2030: Building a Net Zero Carbon Islington by 2030'. In Vision 2030, we identified our priority areas for action and commitments to deliver change.

In 2021, we established our Net Zero Carbon programme which coordinates and will deliver these commitments through eight multi-disciplinary workstreams involving teams from across the council, each led by a workstream director.

The Net Zero Carbon Programme workstreams

Buildings, homes and infrastructure 

Improving energy efficiency of and reducing carbon emissions from all buildings and infrastructure. This includes:

  • continuing our work on the insulation of properties and seeking ways of converting heating systems away from gas where possible
  • delivering projects to install low carbon heating solutions on our estates
  • working with borough partners such as schools and colleges, universities, housing associations and the NHS to support them to reduce carbon emissions from their estates (for example, the ground source heat pump as part of improvements works at New River College).

Reduce transport emissions 

Reducing emissions in the borough from transport by encouraging walking, cycling and public transport. Our Transport Strategy is:

  • creating people-friendly streets and liveable neighbourhoods
  • delivering better, cleaner and more accessible public transport services.

We are also reducing and electrifying our fleet and encouraging residents and local people to do the same by ensuring the appropriate infrastructure is in place. 

Sustainable and affordable energy generation and supply

  • Increasing local renewable energy generation and supporting residents in fuel poverty.
  • Working to increase the use of smart, zero carbon district heating and solar power generation in the borough, considering the whole energy system.

See our Energy pages for more about this.

Green Economy

Working with businesses across our borough and:

Natural Environment, waste reduction and recycling

Integrating our natural environment initiatives which aim to address biodiversity loss, climate change adaptation and mitigation. Activities include:

We are also reducing waste and increasing recycling as well as promoting circular economy principles across the borough.


Ensuring that our planning policies require sustainable growth, that building developments meet the best possible emissions reductions targets and that low carbon / energy efficiency improvements are encouraged and supported.

We are developing our Net Zero Carbon Supplementary Planning Guidance in 2023 and will be commissioning research and conducting extensive local engagement to inform this document and ensure that it is useful and accessible for developers, householders and businesses in the borough.

Finance and Investment

Working closely with our partners in the borough, London and nationally to identify and maximise funding sources, advocating for reasonable and sustained funding from central government.

We are also looking to innovative green financing mechanisms to provide value for money in the investments we make in net zero carbon initiatives.

Engaging, empowering, and partnering

Working closely with residents, local businesses, community groups and others to enable and encourage them to help our borough achieve net zero through promotion and adoption of local carbon choices and behaviours.

We are working with all of the above workstreams and with partners from across the borough to develop our engagement plans for 2023 and will be launching a series of campaigns and events in spring 2023.

Further information

Visit the Together Greener website for more information to help you reduce your emissions. Whether you are a resident in the borough or a local business, the website has resources to help you reduce your carbon emissions, energy use and waste.

Summary annual report

We published a summary annual report in March 2022. We present detailed quarterly progress reports to the Environment Scrutiny Committee, which also reviews aspects of Net Zero Carbon Programme activity throughout the year.

These webpages are currently undergoing a redesign and further information will be available here soon with more detail on recent and forthcoming Net Zero Carbon programme activity.

Carbon emissions

Carbon emissions for each district in the UK are published annually by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The most recent data is from 2019.

We previously had a target of reducing Islington’s carbon emissions by 40 per cent between 2005 and 2020, and by 2019 we had achieved a 45 per cent reduction, exceeding our 2020 target.

Taking into account a significant increase in our population, this was a 58 per cent reduction in emissions per person, the placing us at the 11th highest reduction in the country. Further analysis of the most recent figures is available in this factsheet.

The council is developing a carbon monitoring approach to support its delivery of the Net Zero Carbon programme.

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