London to be carbon-free by 2050
London mayor Sadiq Khan has outlined ambitious proposals to make the capital a zero-carbon city by 2050 through energy efficient buildings, clean transport and increased recycling.
His Environment Strategy also sets the target of ensuring at least half the city is green by midway of the century, and introduces new measures to tackle air pollution and climate change.
This includes bringing forward the introduction of zero-emission zones in some town centres from 2025 to 2020, with London expected to be compliant with nitrogen dioxide limits within seven years.
“By continuing to invest in our environment and work with boroughs and communities, we can improve the health and wellbeing of everyone living in London,” Khan said.
“This strategy sets out my plans to clean up our filthy air with bold new air quality measures, tackle waste and promote cleaner energy so we can make London a healthier city that adapts to climate change.”
Almost 3,000 Londoners and 370 stakeholders responded to a consultation for the draft strategy launched last August, with the latest version confirming Khan’s plan to make London the world’s first ‘national park city’.
This includes £4m in funding for the planting of thousands of trees and improvements to community green spaces, giving additional support to boroughs to invest in parks.
The strategy sets the target of cutting London’s food waste by 50% per person by 2030, with Khan also hoping to increase the capital’s solar capacity by 20 times during that time.
In addition, carbon budgets will aim to cut the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted by 40% from 1990 levels over the next four years – compliant with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C.
Khan called on the government to provide funding for his clean air proposals and recycling infrastructure, while also urging it to increase investment in clean energy and efficiency measures.
“I’m delighted that so many Londoners have got involved and given their feedback on the future of London’s environment,” he continued.
“In order to protect it for future generations, we must take tough action now - we have already done some fantastic work, but there is lots more to do, and we need all Londoners, and the government, to play their part.”
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Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM