London Mayor Sadiq Khan has reiterated his pledge to make the capital net-zero carbon by 2030 and encouraged the rest of the UK and cities around the world to match his ambitions. In a speech at the Barbican, he repeated the target he originally announced in the run-up to the mayoral elections in May 2020 as part of his £50m ‘Green New Deal’ for London.
The speech saw the launch of a major new citywide ‘Live and Breathe Campaign’ from the Mayor’s Office to tackle emissions and pollution, ahead of the landmark COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November. Next month sees the introduction of the mayor’s controversial extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) out to the North and South Circular Roads. The new initiative will also assist home- and business-owners to reduce their energy usage and wastage, which currently account for 78 percent of the capital’s carbon footprint.
‘I’ve committed to making London a zero-carbon city by 2030,’ said Sadiq, ‘faster than any comparable city, and it’s why we are delivering a climate action plan that is compatible with the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement.’
This new scheme follows a pilot, the Business Climate Challenge, launched back in March. However, it has also been prompted by grave fears about the effects of climate change seen in London over the summer. The Mayor’s Office also revealed that research has shown that six London boroughs are extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Islington, Brent, Tower Hamlets and Newham are all now deemed to be ‘at particularly high risk’ from both overheating and flooding.
- A quarter of London’s rail stations and 10 percent of the city’s rail network are at high risk of flooding in the future.
- One in five London schools is either totally or partially at risk of flooding along with nearly half of the city’s hospitals.
- More than 200,000 homes and workplaces are at either high or medium risk of surface-water flooding.
- All school children in London attend schools with toxic air based on the latest WHO guidelines.
It’s certainly a bleak picture. Although it was mainly very bad news, there were a couple of tiny green shoots. Data shows that London’s growing £48 billion ‘green economy’ now supports five percent of jobs in the capital and is worth more than construction and manufacturing put together. The Green New Deal Fund is supporting the London Recovery Board’s goal of doubling London’s green economy to £100bn by 2030.
Read the full statement about the mayor’s ‘Live and Breathe Campaign’ here.