Sadiq Khan has announced that he would introduce a green new deal for London and make the city carbon-neutral by 2030 if re-elected in May this year.
Focusing on climate issues and the upcoming mayoral contest, the mayor spoke to the Fabian’s Society New Year conference in Euston today.
Taking to the stage, Khan set out his record as London mayor but also outlined the steps that he would take in the future to combat the climate crisis.
He announced that he would set a target for the capital to be carbon neutral by 2030, and said that the government needed to introduce a national green new deal.
The Mayor declared: “My pledge to deliver a green new deal for the city, with a target for London to be carbon neutral by 2030, will help tackle the climate emergency and the air pollution crisis.
“Some may say that a 2030 target isn’t achievable but I say we can’t afford not to try. This is a matter of social justice because it’s the poorest communities that are being hit hardest. My plans will help to address the inequality that exists in our city and create the green jobs and industry that can sustain our communities in the future.”
Speaking about the broader challenges facing the country and the world in terms of climate issues, the mayor said that “we are at a critical moment in history – our planet is burning, towns across our country are flooding”.
Khan declared a “national and indeed international green new deal” is needed and said: “My message to the government is this: let’s work together to stave off disaster.”
But he claimed that the key dividing line between him and the Tory candidate is their respective approaches to air pollution in the capital and climate issues.
“The election on May 7th is a two-horse race between me and the Tory candidate. My Conservative opponent is shamefully seeking to defend his government’s failure to meet its climate and air pollution obligations and delay taking the action we need.
“In stark contrast, I will stand up for our city, defend our values of fairness, equality and sustainability and take bold action not only to address the crisis we face, but support green jobs, skills and businesses.”
Asked about Heathrow expansion, Khan replied: “A new runway at Heathrow would be catastrophic… I think that a new runway at Heathrow won’t happen for the foreseeable future because of the legal challenges going ahead.”
The Labour 2019 manifesto committed the party to finding “a path” towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
At the last election, the Conservatives put forward a policy to achieve net-zero by 2050, while the Lib Dems promised a date of 2045.
This announcement from Khan follows other cities in Europe, such as Copenhagen and Oslo, that have made similar commitments to become carbon-neutral.