Boris gets chance to put green plans into action

London is set to get more leafy green spaces and cycling facilities, and cut emissions by 60% by 2025, but a £25 Congestion Charge for more polluting vehicles is set to be scrapped after Boris Johnson was elected as the city's new Mayor.

The proposals were among a number of environmental manifesto promises made by the city’s new Mayor prior to May 1’s election.

The Conservative has also pledged to support the Low Emission Zone, oppose Heathrow expansion and improve recycling across the London boroughs.

Improving energy efficiency in the city’s buildings and increasing the use of microgeneration and on-site renewable energy were also high on his environmental agenda.

Mr Johnson told edie that he wanted to improve the local environment through protecting green spaces and planting 10,000 street trees.

“Improving our local environment will be one of my top priorities,” he said.

He pledged to make London more sustainable and tackle congestion, but has always said that Mr Livingstone’s £25 Congestion Charge, announced earlier this year, would not solve congestion and would be scrapped if he was elected.

“I will make London a genuinely cycle-friendly city by introducing a central London cycle hire scheme and increasing the number of cycle parking spaces,” he added.

In his manifesto, the new Mayor echoed Ken Livingstone’s aim to cut London’s carbon emissions by 60% by 2025 and promised to support his Low Emission Zone.

He said he would encourage more microgeneration, and is in favour of the draft legislation which will allow local authorities to introduce the Merton Rule, but has not yet suggested any binding targets for on-site renewables in London.

Waste management and recycling is also expected to be a key priority, as Mr Johnson promised to work with the London boroughs and the London Waste and Recycling Board – a body which Ken Livingstone had opted not to work with.

Mr Johnson told edie: “Unlike Ken Livingstone, I will contribute £24m funding and pledge to work with the London Waste and Recycling Board to make the right investment decisions for the future of waste management in London.”

Mr Johnson, who wrote in a newspaper column eight years ago that there was no evidence the planet was suffering from climate change, will now have four years to show voters what he can do for the environment before he has to face the public vote again.

Kate Martin

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