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Climate emergency

Merton’s Climate Strategy and Action Plan

The Climate Strategy and Action Plan forms Merton's response to our declaration of a climate emergency, which set net zero carbon targets of 2050 for the borough and 2030 for the Council. This 30 year plan sets out our vision for Merton in 2050 and the key actions required to get to net-zero carbon across four thematic areas (the Green Economy, Buildings and Energy, Transport and Greening Merton), as well as how the Council is going to decarbonise its own operations by 2030.

Climate Strategy and Action Plan 

The action plan was considered by Cabinet on 13 July 2020 and approved by Council on 18 November 2020.

You can find out more about our next steps and what you can do to help in the sections below. We also ran two webinars in December to launch the delivery phase of the Action Plan, and update local residents, community groups, businesses and organisations on next steps and how they can get involved in making Merton a net-zero carbon borough. If you missed the webinars but would like to find out more, you can watch the recording here. We are moving over to a new system for our climate change updates.

Sign up to receive future updates on Merton's Climate Strategy and Action Plan


We ran two webinars in December 2020 to launch the delivery phase of the Action Plan, and update local residents, community groups, businesses and organisations on next steps and how they can get involved in making Merton a net-zero carbon borough.

Watch the webinar on YouTube

Email updates

We are moving over to a new system for our climate change updates. Sign up using the link below to receive future updates on Merton's Climate Strategy and Action Plan

Sign up for updates

Developing our approach

The plan is the result of a collaborative effort from many individuals and organisations across the borough and beyond:

A wide public consultation

A stakeholder workshop in February 2020

Getting to net-zero carbon

Key sources of carbon emissions for the borough and the council’s own operations

​Sources​Borough emissions
​Economy​Emissions from the wider economy cannot be calculated accurately but they are estimated to far exceed the emissions generated within the borough.
​Residential buildings​328 ktCO2e - 46% emissions 
​Commercial buildings243 ktCO2e​ - 34% emissions
​Transport​138 ktCO2e - 19% emissions
​Land use​0.1% emissions offset

The total of borough emissions is 708 ktCO2e.

0.2% of building emissions avoided by local renewable energy generation.

Actions in Merton’s Climate Strategy and Action Plan focus on tackling the key sources of greenhouse gas emissions that require three major transformations:

  • Working towards a green and circular economy
  • A shift towards low carbon buildings and energy.
  • A transition in transport towards walking, cycling and electric vehicles

The plan also recognises the need to enhance Merton’s green spaces to enable climate adaptation and resilience, and sets out key actions to deliver the Council’s 2030 target.

What you can do

Tackling climate change is a complex problem that requires a shared solution. Around 98% of Merton’s emissions are outside the Council’s direct control. The action plan identifies where individuals, businesses, organisations, landlords, service providers and communities play a key role, and must make changes towards more sustainable behaviours in order to become a carbon neutral borough.

To find out more about what the action plan says and how you can help, check out the What you can do page and the following thematic pages:

Next steps

  1. Climate Action Group
    In order to foster and support local climate action, the Council will be launching a Climate Action Group in January 2021. This will provide a framework to develop community-led projects that reduce Merton's carbon emissions, where joint efforts are more effective than the actions of individuals or the Council alone.

    If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved, please come along to the Climate Action Group Launch on 27th January! Register for the event on EventBrite

    Find out more about the Climate Action Group and how you can get involved.
  2. Climate Communications
    To drive behaviour change and carbon reductions in the borough, we will be running a climate comms campaign throughout 2021. In order to reach beyond our usual channels and engage with as many people as possible, we are looking to develop a network of climate communications partners who can help shape and share our climate messages next year. Find out more in this partners letter and let us know if you want to get involved.
  3. Our Climate delivery plan
    The annual Climate Delivery Plan will set out our yearly priorities for delivering the Climate Strategy and Action Plan objectives and provide a framework for reviewing our progress towards achieving Merton’s carbon reduction targets. The delivery plan will focus on our actions, not actions which sit with residents, businesses and organisations.

    The Climate Delivery Plan for 2021 is due to go to Cabinet on 18 January.
  4. The 2030 Council Target
    To find out more about what we are doing to reduce our own emissions, please visit the 2030 Council Target page.

Other news

  • Local Plan - Merton's draft climate change policies for the new Local Plan have been reviewed in the context of the Climate Emergency to drive building energy performance which is compatible with our 2050 net-zero carbon target. These draft policies are currently going through public consultation and you are invited to provide any feedback by 1 February 2021 on this page - New Local Plan.

    If you would like to find out more, we will be running an event on 7 January 2021 to introduce Merton’s draft Climate Change policies. Find out more and register for the event
  • Neighbourhood fund - Merton's Neighbourhood Fund awarded grants (£1.4m) to a wide-range of bidders to address the demands of development and bridging the social gap across the borough. Almost a third (£437k) of the funds will be spent on climate emergency related projects. These include community planting, Sustainable Merton's Community Champions/ Fridge projects, sustainable travel programmes and a number of efficient lighting and rainwater harvesting projects across the borough. For a full list of projects, see the Cabinet Decision.
  • Green Homes Grant - Local Authority Delivery Scheme - Merton, alongside 12 neighbouring South London boroughs, put forward a collective response in support of a GLA bid to the Green Homes Grant - Local Authority Delivery scheme which has been successful. Funding will be delivered in Merton through the pre-established 'South London Healthy Homes' project. This project currently supports Merton residents over the age of 65 on a low income or with a long term health condition or disability to improve their health, creating warmer homes through the installation of energy saving measures, offering impartial advice electricity or gas bills in addition to signposting to other sources of help.
  • Greening Merton - We are supporting bids to improve our green spaces through the Urban Tree Challenge, National City Parks Foundation and the Environment Trust's Green Hubs project.
  • Morden town centre regeneration - The Climate Change team has also been helping to shape the Morden town centre regeneration project in line with the Council's climate goals. The Council was selected for the Foreground Programme run by the UK Green Building Council which focusses on informing and influencing the sustainability aspirations of strategically significant urban development projects. This involved a workshop with industry experts advising on low carbon solutions for Morden.