For a leading city, London has an abysmal record on air pollution, clean energy and waste. Can Boris Johnson’s successor turn them around?
Green issues are front and centre in the race to succeed London's colourful mayor, the Conservative heavyweight Boris Johnson, on 5 May.
Labour candidate Sadiq Khan, and his Conservative rival Zac Goldsmith, along with the Liberal Democrats’ Caroline Pidgeon and the Greens’ Sian Berry are all promising to cultivate a greener London. Both Khan and Goldsmith have made bold promises to become London’s “greenest mayor ever”, and to tackle sustainability issues across the board, from pollution and renewable energy to raising wages for Londoners.
Pollution is a key issue, with the city frequently ranked among the dirtiest in the developed world. London’s failure to cut toxic air pollution on its streets generated headlines earlier this year, and recent studies have shown that pollution is responsible for the premature deaths of nearly 9,500 Londoners each year.
Khan, who has said “the air on Oxford Street on some days is less clean than in New Delhi”, has pledged to bring it to legal levels. He says he will push the government to introduce a diesel vehicle scrappage scheme and encourage the roll-out of green vehicles, including more electric buses.
Goldsmith, former editor of the Ecologist...