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People, communities, and climate

Putting people and communities at the heart of tackling climate change to ensure that everyone who lives, works, studies, and visits the borough is well informed and empowered to play their part in tackling the climate crisis.

As part of the Waltham Forest Climate Emergency Commission - a panel of independent experts bought together in 2019 to closely examine what can be done on a local level to address the global challenge of climate change – a series of recommendations have been agreed and are in the process of being brought to life. Nearly 4,500 people - including 1,400 young people - were engaged as part of this process.

The recommendations report is available in full (PDF). A summary of the key initiatives that we’re delivering to support residents to cut emissions and protect our natural environment across five core themes include:

  • Empowering young people: Through a £4.5m investment, the Council is developing London’s first climate campus for young people at the Suntrap Centre in Epping Forest.

We are hosting the first Waltham Forest Youth Climate Summit throughout COP21 to inspire collective action and develop the climate leaders of the future. This will include a week-long programme of speakers, resources and local learning opportunities for inspiring collective action and climate leadership to coincide with the second week of COP26 in Glasgow. Alongside this, we are developing programmes and events to connect 16-24-year olds with green jobs.

  • Community programmes: Through our Bee Friendly Streets project we have partnered with schools and community groups to plant 100,000 bulbs in green spaces. We have planted 5,589 trees in the past two years and are planting a further 6,000 trees with school children in 2021. The Council is investing a further £150,000 to install 15 new parklets in the borough, adding to the 31 already developed in recent years.