It’s the home to national treasure, Sir David Attenborough, so it’s no wonder Richmond Council has pushed ahead with a strategy to tackle the climate emergency.

Last year, the natural historian spoke at the borough’s youth climate change summit about the importance of reducing our environmental impact.

Now Richmond Council hopes to become carbon neutral by 2030, after approving a climate emergency strategy at last night’s full council meeting [January 28].

However, despite a broad consensus on the need to tackle the problem, councillors criticised the strategy for both going too far, and not going far enough.

Conservative councillor, Geoffrey Samuel, said some of the measures, particularly those designed to reduce car usage, would “bear disproportionately on the just-about- managing”.

He added that many elderly people do not have the money to switch their old cars in, and called for some sort of means-tested system on which to base charges.

However, fellow Conservative, Pamela Fleming, joined in with the Greens to say the plan does not go far enough.

She asked why the progress report would only be presented to the committee once a year, and criticised a lack of detail on how measures would be implemented.

The Green Party’s Cllr Richard Bennett highlighted the example set by neighbouring Wandsworth, where £5m has been put aside to support the implementation of sustainable measures.

He called for a “more radical approach”.

But Liberal Democrat, Cllr Alexander Ehmann, insisted the disagreement showed the council had pitched the plan in the middle and “got the balance right”.

The strategy focuses on the period 2019 to 2024. It highlights the need to “drastically reduce energy demands” on the council estate and ensure “a significant portion of our energy demands are met from on site or local renewable sources”.

The council has also committed to being single-use plastic free and for the majority of its vehicles to be electric or powered by other renewable sources.

Likewise, the council will ask its suppliers to work in low carbon ways and actively reduce their carbon emissions.