Added on: 12th August, 2019 by O1
In July I was proud that Bromley councillors unanimously decided to adopt a motion setting out the ambition of net zero carbon emissions by 2029.
This ambitious target recognises the importance of lowering carbon emissions, both to tackle climate change but also to improve quality of the air we breathe. There is growing political consensus on this matter and I was pleased that earlier this year the Government adopted a target for the UK as a whole to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The UK is the first major economy to set such an ambitious target and I am proud that Bromley and the UK are leading the world in this regard.
We can all do our bit in helping reach this target. One easy way is to change the way in which we get around. Orpington has extremely good public transport connections. There are regular rail services into London and Kent from Orpington Station and the High Street holds the record of the longest chain of consecutive bus routes in London, from the R1 to R11! While trains and buses have some carbon costs associated with them, the carbon footprint of travelling on public transport is dramatically lower than travelling in a car.
Furthermore, Orpington has recently seen the introduction of a new eco-friendly way of getting around. Dockless Lime e-bikes can now be found on streets across the borough and provide a low cost and emission free way of getting from A to B. I was pleased to recently meet with a member of the team at Lime and try out a Lime bike myself. I was impressed with the ease in which cyclists can find and pick up a bike through the Lime app. The bikes are very easy to ride as they are assisted by a small electric motor helping you up any challenging inclines. Lime regularly checks and recharges the bikes, making sure that they have not been abandoned or misused. These new bikes are a perfect way to get around Orpington and I would encourage you all to make the most of them.
However, the cheapest, cleanest and greenest way of getting around Orpington remains by foot. We are lucky to have lots of wide pavements with grass verges which makes Orpington an extremely pleasant place to walk around. By choosing to walk to work, to school or to the shops we are not only getting some important exercise but are taking a car off the road and keeping greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. By choosing to walk to a local independent shop for our groceries rather than driving to an out of town supermarket, we are reducing vehicle emissions as well as lowering the carbon footprint of our food.
I am proud that our local councillors and the Government are taking reducing our net emissions seriously. I hope that we all help contribute to achieving these targets, even if we have to take it one step at a time.