London Mayor’s office seeking new environment and energy lead

Image: C40 Cities

The office of Sadiq Khan (pictured), who recently won a third term as Mayor, is yet to choose a successor. Whoever is chosen will play a key role in the delivery of the capital’s ambitious 2030 net-zero carbon target.

Rodrigues had spearheaded the Greater London Authority’s environment and energy programmes since late 2016. The past eight years have seen a significant ramping up in the Authority’s work in this field.

Rodrigues has contributed to the design and delivery of London’s overarching Green New Deal – its pandemic recovery plan which includes a 2030 net-zero target for operational emissions and a vision to double the size of the capital’s green economy within the same timeframe.

She has also been a key figure in the implementation of London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), designed to encourage fleet operators and individual motorists to switch from more polluting vehicles to lower-emission modes of transport. ULEZ first launched in 2019 for central London and was subsequently expanded to the entirety of Greater London in August 2023.

The expansion has proven controversial. The Greater London Authority has maintained that it is necessary to cut air pollution but motorists in several outer London boroughs have protested being burdened with extra costs during the cost-of-living crisis. Khan’s rival for the recent Mayoral race, Conservative candidate Susan Hall, had pledged to reverse the ULEZ expansion as a priority.

All in all, Rodrigues has worked for more than 20 years in the field of green economy policies and strategies, with a focus on urban areas and local councils. As well as her recent tenure at City Hall, she was also the Greater London Authority’s head of environment and climate change under Ken Livingstone in the early 2000s.

Khan said he was “extremely grateful” for Rodrigues’s “world-leading” work.

ReLondon’s chief executive Wayne Hubbard penned a heartfelt tribute to Rodrigues on LinkedIn. He wrote: “I can unequivocally say that Shirley is one of the most effective and passionate advocates for environment and climate that it has been my good fortune to work with in all that time. The legacy that she will leave is clear for all to see.”

Rodrigues will continue to serve on the board of the global C40 Cities network, which convenes local leaders from around the world on sustainability.

Other Deputy Mayors who play a crucial role in greening London’s economy are remaining in their posts, including transport lead Seb Dance and business and growth lead Howard Dawber.

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