Greener Kingston

Liberal Democrats have committed to being a carbon neutral council by 2030 and a carbon neutral borough by 2038.

This means taking a new approach to how we build houses, how we heat our homes, how we travel, how we look after our green spaces and how we recycle.

In 2019, we declared a Climate Emergency, and we have published a Climate Emergency Action Plan which sets out how we reach our ambitious climate goals.

Towards a Carbon Neutral Borough

Here are some of the things we are planning:

Electric vehicles. We will switch all our refuse collection lorries to electric ⁠— the first London borough to do so.

Poo power! The Kingston District Heating Network will turn effluent from local sewage into clean energy. This innovative scheme will be the first of its kind in England and will mean the new homes built on Cambridge Road Estate will be among the greenest in the country.

Street lighting. All will be converted to LED lights by the end of 2023.

Electric vehicle charging points. We will install a further 200 kerbside charging points and insist that 50% of all parking spaces in new developments will have them as well.

Decarbonising our housing. We will invest in our council homes to make them more energy efficient (insulation), and use carbon neutral heating sources.

Cycle network. We will maintain and improve our segregated cycle network. Cycle training will continue to be offered to thousands of children and adults across the borough.

A carbon budget. This is like a financial budget, which has an annual target in carbon emission reduction for all the Council’s operations each year, up to the net zero target in 2030.

Reducing Air Pollution

Our approach to dealing with the Climate Emergency and air pollution are inextricably linked and we are fully committed to tackling both head on.

We have published our Air Quality Action Plan which outlines how we aim to reduce air pollution across the borough.

School streets programme. We will introduce new school streets so more children can breathe clean air as they go to school.

20mph speed limits. Cutting speed limits not only improves road safety but also reduces air pollution, and encourages road users to switch to walking and cycling. We will consult with residents about making every road in the borough 20mph apart from the roads that are the responsibility of Transport for London.

Air pollution monitors. We will increase the number of air pollution monitors. Understanding air quality across the borough is vital to enable us to tackle pollution hotspots.

Protecting Green Spaces

We are committed to investing in our green spaces and to managing our urban environment in a way that prevents a further decline of our native species. More than that, we have a vision to see wildlife flourishing once again in our borough, in our waterways, green spaces and urban areas alike.

Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land. These must be protected and improved.

Pollinator Parks and Biobed strategies. We will create new wildflower borders, hedges and ponds in our parks, and prioritise good pollinators on Council sites.

Wildways. We will create more rich wildflower meadows on roadside grass verges in the borough.

Biodiversity Action Plan. This explains how each department of the council can play their part to improve biodiversity in the Borough and how residents should be involved.

New developments. Developers will be required to deliver a 30% net gain in biodiversity, by introducing living roofs, living walls and rain gardens on urban sites.

Trees. We will plant 2,000 more trees in the next four years.

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