A greener, cleaner London

Our parks and acres of green open space are part of our city’s DNA, but London is also one of the world’s most polluted cities. Too many of our family and friends are suffering from London’s filthy air, and we need to act now.

When the Conservatives took over City Hall eight years ago, they inherited a city that, in environmental terms, was leading the world with innovative policies and programmes. Fast forward to 2016 and our city has a record that is mediocre at best. Other cities across the world - and even cities here in Britain like Nottingham - are leaving London behind. You, your family and friends are suffering, and almost 10,000 of our fellow Londoners die prematurely each year, because of air so filthy it is actually illegal.

Greener, cleaner London

I want to be the Mayor who makes London one of the world’s greenest cities. Environmental checks are not simply a side concern to be weighed up against economic and social benefits.

A greener future is central to my vision for London, to the kind of city I want my children to live in. I want, for all of our children, a city in which the air is clean, green space is accessible, and the energy we consume is increasingly drawn from renewable and local sources. And I want them to work in an economy which leads the world in the new low-carbon technologies and industries that represent the jobs and businesses of the future.

Cleaning our air

Our most pressing environmental challenge is cleaning up London’s air. I know from personal experience that the city’s air is damaging people’s health, as I suffer from adult-onset asthma. So many pollution hotspots in the city are around schools, exposing our children to dangerously polluted air, and putting them at greater risk of respiratory conditions like mine. I will:

  • Consult on bringing forward the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and expanding it along major arterial routes or a wider section of central London.

  • Introduce Clean Bus Corridors– prioritising new, clean buses for those services which run on the most polluted roads in the city.

  • Set a target of only buying clean electric or hydrogen buses from 2020, seeking an agreement across other major European and global cities to do the same, in order to send a signal to bus manufacturers and create a race to the top in clean bus technology.

  • Deliver the electric charging infrastructure, in partnership with the private sector, necessary for a major expansion in the use of electric vehicles.

  • Oppose the construction of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

  • Introduce Cleaner Walking Routes to School, working with local councils to reduce congestion around schools as a means of protecting children from filthy air.

  • Embark on a major tree-planting programme across London, in partnership with businesses and the public sector, with a particular focus on schools and colleges.

  • Make cycling an easier and safer choice for more Londoners.

  • Call upon the Government to introduce a diesel vehicle scrappage scheme to support those who wish to change to a greener car.

World class public spaces

As Londoners we are lucky enough to have access to some of the world’s best public spaces and world-famous streets and squares, but too many are blighted with poor design, clutter, congestion and pollution. I will work with communities, boroughs and the private sector to improve our public spaces and creating more liveable streets and spaces. I will:

  • Prioritise the improvement of High Streets, squares and public spaces across the city - including outer London and inner London. Public spaces

  • Work with Westminster Council, local businesses, Transport for London (TfL) and taxis, to pedestrianise Oxford Street. I will start by bringing back car-free days, and possibly weekends, before moving towards full pedestrianisation. Our eventual ambition should be turning one of the world’s most polluted streets into one of the world’s finest public spaces – a tree lined avenue from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch.

  • Revive plans to part-pedestrianise Parliament Square, and seek to integrate it into the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Appoint a pedestrian champion at TfL, to lead on measures to make walking safer and easier across London.

Protecting and enhancing our natural environment

I am passionate about the amazing green spaces and views – commons, parks, heaths, playing fields and waterways – that do so much to make London a fantastic place to live. It is on these green spaces that our city’s biodiversity and wildlife is most concentrated, our children play and learn about nature, and where we Londoners go to relax. With huge pressures on land for housing and other uses, it is essential that we maintain these spaces, and even expand upon them. I will:

  • Make London the first ‘National Park City’ – setting a long term target to make more than 50 per cent of our city green and ensure that all children have access to nature.

  • Complete the Thames Path, working with boroughs, landowners and business to complete missing sections and protect access to what is already open.

  • Open up more walking routes around London, and work with local authorities and TfL to improve the London Loop and Capital Ring walks.

  • Use planning powers to prevent fracking within Greater London.

  • Oppose building on the Green Belt, which is even more important today than it was when it was created.

  • Strengthen protections for open spaces within the London Plan, including playing fields, Metropolitan Open Land, and our Sites of Importance for Local Nature Conservation and nature reserves.

  • Protect wildlife and biodiversity by creating green corridors through the city.

  • Ensure that the Met’s Wildlife Crime Unit continues to receive the resources it needs to be effective.

  • Press ahead with planning for the replacement of the Thames Barrier when it reaches the end of its life to protect London from flooding for future generations.

Making London a low-carbon beacon

If London is to move to being a greener city, we have to get so much better at producing more of our own energy from clean, low-carbon sources. We need to reduce our CO2 emissions while also being better prepared to adapt to climate change. My plan to revive London’s clean energy sector includes committing London to an ambitious target of becoming a zero-carbon city by 2050. I will:

  • Establish Energy for Londoners, a not-for-profit company providing a comprehensive range of energy services to help Londoners generate more low-carbon energy and increase their energy efficiency, support local and community energy enterprises, and buy clean energy generated across the city, using it to power GLA and TfL facilities.

  • Lead on work to cut energy bills for Londoners by promoting the roll out of smart meters and exploring the business case for potential savings on bills by bulk-buying energy.

  • Make the most of the city’s roofs, public buildings and land owned by TfL for energy generation by producing a solar energy strategy.

  • Ensure all new developments meet low carbon, energy efficiency and sustainability standards.

  • Reducing energy demand by working with the industry to accelerate the roll out of smart meters.

  • Backing district heating schemes that make the most of waste heat from the Tube, such as that in Bunhill, Islington.

London also needs to up its game on resource efficiency – we still produce too much waste and don’t recycle enough, and we don’t treat water like the scarce resource it is. I will:

  • Reinvigorate efforts to increase the amount London recycles, so that we get back on track with hitting the 65 per cent target by 2030, including seeing waste as an opportunity to create jobs in reuse, repair, remanufacturing and materials innovation.

  • Promote initiatives that reduce water consumption in London, including the roll out of, and more public information about water metering. 

As Mayor, I’ll lead by example. I will:

  • Take all possible steps to divest the London Pension Fund Authority of its remaining investments in fossil-fuel industries.

  • Make sure City Hall and all other GLA buildings maintain the highest environmental standards on heating, lighting and waste.

  • Lead on reducing the city’s waste footprint, working to increase recycling and cut the amount London sends to landfill.

  • Collaborating with other cities through international networks such as the C40 and ICLEI to develop innovative solutions to the changes of tackling climate change and other environmental challenges cities like London face.

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