Sadiq Kahn unveils plan for London 'clean energy revolution'
Labour's London Mayor candidate Sadiq Khan has outlined his ambition to ignite a 'clean energy revolution' in the capital, pledging to be the 'greenest mayor ever'.
Khan’s plans, announced on a visit to the Islington Bunhill Energy Centre, were headlined by ‘Energy for Londoners’ – a not-for-profit company that will take a lead on clean and green energy across the city.
Among other things, the new company would develop a dedicated solar strategy to take advantage of London roofs and land; create further district heating schemes and issue Green Bonds in order to to invest in green projects across the city.
“I want to be the greenest Mayor London has ever had,” said Khan.” I want my daughters to grow up in a city that is cleaner and greener, in which people aren’t dying because the air is so filthy. But I also want London to be at the cutting edge of new green technologies, generating the growth and jobs of the future.
“Energy for Londoners will bring a renewed focus to our drive to make London a cleaner, greener city.
“It will expand the use of solar across the city, and support communities who want to set up their own green energy generation schemes. And it will roll out schemes like the Bunhill Energy Centre that take waste heat from the tube and make the most of buildings across the city to generate energy from solar.
Cleaner and greener
Khan also pledged to ban fracking in London, plant two millions trees, provide more green buses, expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and attempt to divest the London Pension Fund Authority of its remaining investments in fossil fuel industries.
“All of this will help London reduce its carbon emissions and generate more of its own energy in a much cleaner way,” said Khan.
“Building a cleaner, greener city will only come about through leadership from the top. For eight years, London has lacked that leadership.
“We’ve gone from being a global leader on environmental issues to a middle-ranking global environmental city at best. The Tories have squandered a fantastic green legacy and I’m doubly determined to make London once again a beacon to the world.”
The pledges were welcomed by environmental group Friends of the Earth, whose political campaigner Sophie Neuberg said:"Sadiq Khan is right to want to be the Greenest Mayor London has ever had.
“London’s filthy air kills thousands every year, and the capital is lagging behind the rest of the country on solar power. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of Londoners are suffering in drafty rented homes they can’t afford to heat.
"Sadiq’s pledges to clean up London’s buses and launch a dedicated solar strategy are welcome and important pledges.
"But Londoners will want more detail from all the mayoral candidates. They will be judged on specific commitments to improve standards in cold private rented homes, tackle the toxic pollution from London’s 9,000 buses, and to boost renewable power."
Khans Conservative opponent Zac Goldsmith told the Conservative party conference last year that he wants London to become the greenest city on earth.
Goldsmith’s ‘Action Plan for London’ includes protecting the green belt from development, tackling air pollution with tougher rules on HGVs, and encouraging the uptake of electric cars.