Creating net zero carbon places in Barnet

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The actions we’re taking to reach net zero carbon as a council by 2030 and as a borough by 2042.



1. Infrastructure and transport

Barnet Council will ensure community engagement and co-design of our transport strategy – policies and priorities to make real progress towards achieving net zero.

We will influence travel choices and behaviours, to create a safe and resilient environment for walking, wheeling and cycling; promote active travel and encourage the decarbonisation of transport. Read more about the council’s Active Travel campaign here.


2. Electric vehicle charge points

A key part of our commitment to reaching net zero carbon is to reduce and mitigate the impact of transport emissions by encouraging the use of electric vehicles.

Barnet Council is adding to its suite of existing EV charging points with the installation of up to 510 Trojan Energy charge points. The installation of these 'flat and flush' charge points is being supported by more than £3.5m of government funding, secured by the council last year. Furthermore, the council will soon be installing up to 100 town centre fast charge points, to allow residents to charge on the go and support our local businesses.

Installing charge points in key residential locations will help current and future EV owning residents charge near their homes. This will support sustainable travel choices that help to reduce carbon emissions, make our air cleaner and protect our planet. Read more about Electric Vehicles in Barnet here.


3. The environment and tree planting

We will safeguard our natural environment, protect our green spaces and biodiversity for our generations to come.



Barnet Council is committed to protecting existing natural space and will seek to expand coverage of green space across Barnet. Protecting and restoring biological systems across the borough, particularly those which may have been affected by the borough's growth and development.


This is how trees across Barnet help to reduce carbon emissions and help the environment:

  • Trees within parks and streets remove 687 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually from the air as a result of carbon sequestration.

  • Woodlands remove an additional 2,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

  • Trees in streets and parks account for the removal of 16 tonnes per year of harmful atmospheric gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter.

  • It is estimated that the trees within the Borough intercept 21,800m3 of rainfall per year, allowing this water to be re-evaporated from the canopy preventing excess runoff and lowering flood risk.

These environmental services from the tree population account for £2.24 million worth of benefits per year.

Read the council’s Tree Policy here.


Sponsor a street tree

Trees for Streets is the national charity led initiative that makes it possible for residents and local businesses to directly sponsor the planting of new street trees.

Sponsors can choose the location of the tree or trees they’d like planted. Maybe outside their house, school or shop. The council’s tree team then surveys these locations for suitability and if all ok, a tree will be planted during next winter’s planting season.

Read more on this initiative at www.treesforstreets.org/barnet



4. Cutting the risk of flooding and boosting biodiversity 


Climate Change is likely to mean more frequent and intense flooding. The severe flooding pattern over the past 10 years is linked to an increase in extreme weather events as the country’s climate changes.

The Silk Stream Flood Resilience Innovation (SSRFI) project, led by Barnet and Harrow Councils (in partnership with other organisations including Thames21 Environmental Charity and The Environment Agency), was selected as one of the 25 projects nationally in the Government’s Flood & Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme in 2021, to reduce river and surface water flooding. The project, which will use nature-based solutions to tackle flood risk around the Silk Stream, is expected to begin in Autumn 2023. Read more about the Silk Stream Flood Residence Innovation (SSRFI) project here.

5. Greening town centres

From 2023 we will be introducing more green infrastructure to our highstreets, to improve air quality, support biodiversity, and reduce the impact of both urban heating and urban flash flooding.

High street improvements to Finchley Central

In Finchley Central we are working with colleagues across the council to deliver high street improvements in 2023. The improvements will draw on the natural signature of the local area, the Dollis brook and Victoria Park, these include:

  • Supporting existing streets trees
  • Planting seven new semi-mature street trees
  • Installing raingardens (sustainable urban drainage systems) to create a buffer zone along the edge of Ballards Lane, with resilient, biodiversity rich, UK-sourced plant species.

The public realm works will bring a new, green heart to the town centre.

Town centre high streets and active travel

Across our primary town centres we are working to support active travel onto the high street, to reduce the impact of congestion and air pollution on the local community and improve the sense of well-being on the high street. There are a number of initiatives coming forward to prioritise and support cyclists, including:

  • Increased frequency and improved accessible design of pedestrian crossings, to widen and improve the pavements
  • Decluttering of public spaces - te-cluttering our high streets, reducing redundant furniture
  • Telecomms and advertising infrastructure
  • Improved seating, resting points and spaces for younger children and finally
  • Promoting local walk routes to improve wayfinding strategies promoting and celebrating local area identity.

TFL’s Healthy Streets guidance is being used to ensure best practice approach to design.

Improving business engagement in town centres

Lastly, to support town centre footfall and localised shopping initiatives we are developing programmes to activate our town centres and improve community and business engagement in town centres. We are doing this through:

  • Developing community and business steering groups - to drive forward change locally and build local agency
  • Supporting local events programming (community, cultural, arts and music, youth, markets) to help our town centres to diversity
  • Installing infrastructure on the high-street to support activation, events, and the evening economy (busking area, informal play, power, lighting, CCTV, etc) and
  • Supporting the celebration and promotion of local identity (murals, banners, events, heritage assets etc.).

6. Managing our waste and recycling in Barnet

Our Street Cleansing team maintain 21 town centres and around 2000 streets. We are working hard to reduce the quantity of general waste produced across the borough by construction, commercial businesses. And, by working in partnership with the North London Waste Authority, we hope to raise awareness on initiatives that help to increase recycling rates across the borough. The total waste produced per household in Barnet is around a tonne per year. Around 30% of this is being recycled by households, but we could recycle more.

Recycling reduces the amount of raw materials and energy needed to make new products and so it reduces carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. However, we can all do more to reduce our consumption, make sustainable choices and reduce the amount of waste we generate in the first place, to reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on the environment.

We can have the most environmental impact and save money, by reducing the amount of waste we produce as a household, for example through avoiding buying overpackaged goods, planning meals in advance to avoid waste food, and repairing items instead of throwing them away.

Read more about the council’s Waste and Recycling Service here.


Return to the BarNET ZERO homepage

The actions we’re taking to reach net zero carbon as a council by 2030 and as a borough by 2042.



1. Infrastructure and transport

Barnet Council will ensure community engagement and co-design of our transport strategy – policies and priorities to make real progress towards achieving net zero.

We will influence travel choices and behaviours, to create a safe and resilient environment for walking, wheeling and cycling; promote active travel and encourage the decarbonisation of transport. Read more about the council’s Active Travel campaign here.


2. Electric vehicle charge points

A key part of our commitment to reaching net zero carbon is to reduce and mitigate the impact of transport emissions by encouraging the use of electric vehicles.

Barnet Council is adding to its suite of existing EV charging points with the installation of up to 510 Trojan Energy charge points. The installation of these 'flat and flush' charge points is being supported by more than £3.5m of government funding, secured by the council last year. Furthermore, the council will soon be installing up to 100 town centre fast charge points, to allow residents to charge on the go and support our local businesses.

Installing charge points in key residential locations will help current and future EV owning residents charge near their homes. This will support sustainable travel choices that help to reduce carbon emissions, make our air cleaner and protect our planet. Read more about Electric Vehicles in Barnet here.


3. The environment and tree planting

We will safeguard our natural environment, protect our green spaces and biodiversity for our generations to come.



Barnet Council is committed to protecting existing natural space and will seek to expand coverage of green space across Barnet. Protecting and restoring biological systems across the borough, particularly those which may have been affected by the borough's growth and development.


This is how trees across Barnet help to reduce carbon emissions and help the environment:

  • Trees within parks and streets remove 687 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually from the air as a result of carbon sequestration.

  • Woodlands remove an additional 2,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

  • Trees in streets and parks account for the removal of 16 tonnes per year of harmful atmospheric gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter.

  • It is estimated that the trees within the Borough intercept 21,800m3 of rainfall per year, allowing this water to be re-evaporated from the canopy preventing excess runoff and lowering flood risk.

These environmental services from the tree population account for £2.24 million worth of benefits per year.

Read the council’s Tree Policy here.


Sponsor a street tree

Trees for Streets is the national charity led initiative that makes it possible for residents and local businesses to directly sponsor the planting of new street trees.

Sponsors can choose the location of the tree or trees they’d like planted. Maybe outside their house, school or shop. The council’s tree team then surveys these locations for suitability and if all ok, a tree will be planted during next winter’s planting season.

Read more on this initiative at www.treesforstreets.org/barnet



4. Cutting the risk of flooding and boosting biodiversity 


Climate Change is likely to mean more frequent and intense flooding. The severe flooding pattern over the past 10 years is linked to an increase in extreme weather events as the country’s climate changes.

The Silk Stream Flood Resilience Innovation (SSRFI) project, led by Barnet and Harrow Councils (in partnership with other organisations including Thames21 Environmental Charity and The Environment Agency), was selected as one of the 25 projects nationally in the Government’s Flood & Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme in 2021, to reduce river and surface water flooding. The project, which will use nature-based solutions to tackle flood risk around the Silk Stream, is expected to begin in Autumn 2023. Read more about the Silk Stream Flood Residence Innovation (SSRFI) project here.

5. Greening town centres

From 2023 we will be introducing more green infrastructure to our highstreets, to improve air quality, support biodiversity, and reduce the impact of both urban heating and urban flash flooding.

High street improvements to Finchley Central

In Finchley Central we are working with colleagues across the council to deliver high street improvements in 2023. The improvements will draw on the natural signature of the local area, the Dollis brook and Victoria Park, these include:

  • Supporting existing streets trees
  • Planting seven new semi-mature street trees
  • Installing raingardens (sustainable urban drainage systems) to create a buffer zone along the edge of Ballards Lane, with resilient, biodiversity rich, UK-sourced plant species.

The public realm works will bring a new, green heart to the town centre.

Town centre high streets and active travel

Across our primary town centres we are working to support active travel onto the high street, to reduce the impact of congestion and air pollution on the local community and improve the sense of well-being on the high street. There are a number of initiatives coming forward to prioritise and support cyclists, including:

  • Increased frequency and improved accessible design of pedestrian crossings, to widen and improve the pavements
  • Decluttering of public spaces - te-cluttering our high streets, reducing redundant furniture
  • Telecomms and advertising infrastructure
  • Improved seating, resting points and spaces for younger children and finally
  • Promoting local walk routes to improve wayfinding strategies promoting and celebrating local area identity.

TFL’s Healthy Streets guidance is being used to ensure best practice approach to design.

Improving business engagement in town centres

Lastly, to support town centre footfall and localised shopping initiatives we are developing programmes to activate our town centres and improve community and business engagement in town centres. We are doing this through:

  • Developing community and business steering groups - to drive forward change locally and build local agency
  • Supporting local events programming (community, cultural, arts and music, youth, markets) to help our town centres to diversity
  • Installing infrastructure on the high-street to support activation, events, and the evening economy (busking area, informal play, power, lighting, CCTV, etc) and
  • Supporting the celebration and promotion of local identity (murals, banners, events, heritage assets etc.).

6. Managing our waste and recycling in Barnet

Our Street Cleansing team maintain 21 town centres and around 2000 streets. We are working hard to reduce the quantity of general waste produced across the borough by construction, commercial businesses. And, by working in partnership with the North London Waste Authority, we hope to raise awareness on initiatives that help to increase recycling rates across the borough. The total waste produced per household in Barnet is around a tonne per year. Around 30% of this is being recycled by households, but we could recycle more.

Recycling reduces the amount of raw materials and energy needed to make new products and so it reduces carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. However, we can all do more to reduce our consumption, make sustainable choices and reduce the amount of waste we generate in the first place, to reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on the environment.

We can have the most environmental impact and save money, by reducing the amount of waste we produce as a household, for example through avoiding buying overpackaged goods, planning meals in advance to avoid waste food, and repairing items instead of throwing them away.

Read more about the council’s Waste and Recycling Service here.


Return to the BarNET ZERO homepage

Page last updated: 14 Feb 2023, 04:16 PM