Final draft of Environment Plan strengthens medium-term green targets and confirms goal to make capital a 'zero carbon city'
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has presented the final version of the capital's ambitious 2050 Environment Plan to the London Assembly this morning, ahead of its official publication in the coming weeks.
The strategy, first released for consultation last summer, envisions London becoming a 'zero carbon' city by mid-century, boasting cleaner air and more green space.
It is the first plan of its kind to be released by a London Mayor and achieving its 2050 targets will require a significant overhaul in the way London builds homes and offices and operates transport routes.
"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 the impacts of climate change," Khan said. "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."
The final draft features a number of changes from the consultation version, based on feedback from more than 3,000 Londoners and 370 stakeholders, including businesses and community groups.
For example, zero-emission zones in town centres around the capital are now set to be in place by 2020 rather than 2025, in a bid to accelerate the rollout of electric vehicles across the capital and hasten progress on air pollution. The shift means businesses operating in London must act more quickly to slash transport emissions from their fleets, by switching to electric or hydrogen trucks, or e-bike deliveries.
Other changes include a tougher food waste target, with plans to cut food waste by 50 per cent per person by 2030, compared to 20 per cent by 2025 goal in the original document.
An interim target for solar has also been added, requiring London to boast 1GW of solar capacity by 2030 to keep it on track for its 2050 goal of having 2GW of installed solar capacity.
In addition, under the plan London will adopt its own version of carbon budgets to help keep the city on target to decarbonise by 2050. The first aims for a 40 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions from 1990 levels between 2018 and 2022, which is a greater reduction than the national target set by the UK government and aligns with a 1.5 degree trajectory.
Separately, the Mayor's Office confirmed Khan will next week issue a formal tender to set up an energy supply company as part of the Energy for Londoners programme. The plan is for energy companies to help tackle fuel poverty by offering green tariffs and lower energy prices to fuel poor homes across the capital.
The final draft of the plan was welcomed by green city campaigners. "Tackling climate change and unleashing the economic, social and health potential of a low carbon future requires radical and urgent action," Mark Watts, director of C40 cities, said in a statement. "The London Environment Strategy is setting the standard for just how bold mayors can be in delivering the transformational climate action that humanity needs."
Khan's goals are hugely ambitious, but if he delivers on the targets, many of which need to be met as early as 2025, London will cement its position as one of the world's leading green business hubs. It will also become a much cleaner and healthier city in the process.
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