Dear Lord Deben and Baroness Brown,
We applaud the Committee on Climate Change for your excellent letter to Prime Minister Boris nJohnson on building a resilient recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. We agree that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change must be integral to any recovery package. The principles you set out are clear and comprehensive and the science points to the need for urgent action.
The London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) is a partnership of the Mayor of London and the London boroughs. We were set up twelve years ago with a statutory obligation to reduce waste and increase recycling in London. Our 2020-2025 Business Plan places the reduction of London’s consumption-based emissions of greenhouse gases at its core enabling an accelerated and just transition to a circular economy and placing a renewed emphasis on reducing waste and increasing recycling. The Business Plan is aligned with the Mayor of London’s declaration of a climate emergency and his ambition for London to be a zero carbon leading circular city, as well as the ambitious targets that London’s boroughs have set for carbon emissions reductions through their Climate Emergency Declarations.
LWARB works to ensure that London’s businesses, local government and communities thrive by helping them make the very best use of resources and materials. We also work with other UK cities and internationally to promote the principles of a circular economy.
The circular economy is a more efficient, environmentally sound and fairer alternative to the traditional unsustainable linear economy. It is one in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end their life. It is regenerative by design which is consistent with building resilience. It also has the capability to support the creation of higher quality jobs and promote better and more connected communities.
The London Environment Strategy and our own Circular Economy Route Map already set out the pathway to towards a low carbon circular city. Furthermore, London Councils’ London Environment Directors Network (LEDNet) and Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) have produced an ambitious Joint Statement on Climate Change, supported by the Mayor of London, that sets out the boroughs’ approach to governance, citizen engagement and resourcing for climate change, as well
as seven major programmes for cross-borough working.
We have a once in a generation opportunity to “build back better” physically, socially and economically. The systems approach that underpins the circular economy is central to rethinking our current ways of living and working that fail to address the challenges of climate change. In the attachment, we set out the role, and the associated benefits, that the circular economy can have in supporting the implementation of the principles outlined in your letter. Our insights and examples
demonstrate the role of the circular economy in tackling the climate emergency and implementing the principles quickly and effectively to support a resilient recovery form the COVID-19 crisis.
We wholehearted agree with the principles that you set out in your letter. We trust that the Prime Minister, the Government and all of those who are committed to building a resilient economy will consider the role of the circular economy in driving action towards net zero targets.
You can count on our support in London and beyond.
Dr Liz Goodwin OBE
Chair, London Waste and Recycling Board