Mayors Khan and Street call for Green New Deal to empower regions on climate action

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Conservative Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, have called on the UK Government to introduce a Green New Deal that devolves power to enable regions to create a fair and just transition to a net-zero economy.

Mayors Khan and Street call for Green New Deal to empower regions on climate action

In the UK

The two mayors have published written pieces to the IPPR and WWF Essay Collection Putting People at the Heart of the Green Transition. Both mayors call for devolved powers to enable regions to address climate change, restore nature and promote economic growth through a Green New Deal.

Writing for the publication, Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “We can ramp up what we’re doing in the capital through the creation of a ‘Green New Deal’ for London. This must not be a gimmick, or a bit of spin on existing activity.

“It should be a call to arms for everyone to play their part, set demanding targets for reducing carbon emissions and include clear policies that would lead to a cleaner, greener city. If we get this right in London then we can export our solutions and technology all over the world, creating even more green jobs, both here and abroad.”

Khan used the essay to outline his vision of a Green New Deal for London, arguing that devolving powers to the capital would allow it to lead from the font and improve the eco-standards of more than three million homes.

The London Mayor first made calls for a city-based Green New Deal at the start of London’s first Climate Action Week in July 2019, during which he warned that the threat of climate change “delayers” is on the rise as climate “deniers” increasingly change their viewpoints or become less vocal.

Mayor Andy Street called for a policy package and increased government funding for devolved authorities.

What is the Green New Deal?

The Green New Deal movement has been around for over a decade but has recently hit mainstream media following Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s intentions to create a US iteration of the deal. It focuses on a new approach to economic prosperity that guarantees decent work, ownership and democracy across sectors, by placing society and the planet at the heart of all key policies and growth opportunities. 

In the UK, a Green New Deal was first put forward by the Green Party, calling for a 50% cut in emissions within a decade. Since then, a cross-party Environmental Justice Commission has been created with the aim of ushering in the Deal.  

In the global sphere, the Mayors of cities including Los Angeles, Copenhagen and Paris have issued a rallying call for the adoption of a Global Green New Deal that recognises the threat of the climate emergency and strives to transition to a low-carbon future through a fair and just transition.

Convening at the C40 Summit in Copenhagen earlier this month (October 2019), 80 mayors and hundreds of climate leaders issued formal support for the creation of a Global Green New Deal.

Matt Mace

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