Boris pitches for green Mayor
The Conservative's candidate for the London Mayoral election, Boris Johnson, tells edie where he stands on the environment.
London is a great city but we need fresh ideas to make it a great place to live in again. Our local environment has a major impact on our wellbeing, and even on our safety, with areas that have pleasant, open spaces being less likely to suffer from crime.
That is why improving our local environment will be one of my top priorities. I am committed to providing £6 million to make our open spaces cleaner and safer, and I will fund the planting of further 10,000 street trees to improve the residential streets that need them most.
It is essential that we retain all the glorious green space that we are lucky to have in London.
This requires a new approach. I will amend the London Plan to protect domestic gardens from being lost to new build as well as ensuring that no development takes place on green belt and Metropolitan Open Land.
London must retain its position as the motor of the UK economy and if I am elected I will commission a major study to determine which would be the most effective and sustainable methods by which London’s transport capacity might be increased.
However I am utterly opposed to the expansion of Heathrow, because the purported economic benefits do not come close to balancing the environmental and other costs that would be caused.
Recycling is a way that every Londoner can help to improve our environment every day, yet London has worst record in the country on recycling. I will work with the boroughs to make recycling easier and more convenient through innovative approaches such as paying Londoners to recycle.
And, unlike Ken Livingstone, I will contribute £24m funding and pledge to work with the London Waste & Recycling Board to make the right investment decisions for the future of waste management in London.
Congestion is a nightmare in London. I will make transport in London more sustainable by getting London’s traffic flowing better, so reducing traffic carbon emissions, and will increase the number of hybrid buses when feasible.
And 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.
London needs to set an example to the world as a sustainable, green city. I believe climate change is one of the biggest threats we face, and we must all do what we can to tackle it, which is why I support a target to cut London’s carbon emissions by 60% by 2025.
It is crucial that we take firm action to improve energy efficiency and so cut the carbon emissions from London’s domestic and commercial buildings.
I am keen to see the development of significant levels of electricity micro-generation in London and the greater use of on-site renewable energy, and I will push the greater use of renewable energy and combined heat and power in London.