Following the declaration of a Climate Emergency in July 2019, Merton Council decided to put the community at the centre of its efforts to develop an action plan to meet its ambitious net zero targets. We wanted to ensure that we were able to draw upon the expertise and enthusiasm of the large number of Merton residents with an interest and professional experience in this area, so we invited applications from those interested in sitting on the Climate Emergency Working Group.
We ended up with a talented and diverse group of people, including a social scientist with expertise in behavioural insights, an environmental scientist and urban ecologist, a sustainability officer at a housing association, a sustainability and communications consultant, and a lawyer specializing in sustainable investment, amongst others.
The group met over a 12-month period, chaired by the Cabinet Member responsible for the climate emergency and supported by the Council’s climate officers. Thematic working groups were set up to undertake research and develop actions for the Climate Emergency Action Plan, which were then discussed and agreed by the group.
The final plan, agreed by the Council in November 2020, was a direct result of the work of the Climate Emergency Working Group.