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Nine of the UK's leading environmental campaigns have come together to publish a manifesto outlining ways in which the next Mayor of London could tackle the capital's growing environmental problems.

greener london report coverGreener London:  What the next Mayor can do to improve our capital has been produced by the  Campaign for Better Transport, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England,  Friends of the Earth, the Green Alliance, Greenpeace, the London Wildlife Trust, the National Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Its publication comes against a background of increasingly disturbing information about the severity of air pollution in London and its severe effects on health in general and excess mortality in particular.  Furthermore, it is now clear that promises to improve matters made by the current Mayor have not been met.

The introduction to the report reads:

London is a thrilling city. You can kayak from parliament to a nature reserve, explore woodlands in full view of a global financial centre, hire a bike from so many street corners, charge up your electric car at 915 locations and work for some of the most innovative cleantech companies in the world.

However, London faces major challenges: catastrophic air pollution levels are causing the premature death of thousands of Londoners every year; 432 cyclists were seriously injured or killed in 2014 alone; green spaces are being lost to development; and the city is producing nearly a quarter of a million tonnes of waste electrical equipment a year and half a million tonnes of avoidable food waste.

The next mayor has the power to tackle these challenges and can transform the city. They can improve how people live and travel in the capital and provide high quality homes in healthier, greener neighbourhoods. London could be a world leading zero waste, low carbon city. With a population of 8.6 million, expected to grow to almost ten million by 2030, London needs solutions that are sustainable.

In May 2016, London votes for its next mayor. Whoever wins has a unique opportunity to make their mark on this great city and take big steps on the journey to making our capital a greener, fairer and better place to live and work.

As nine leading UK environmental organisations, active in the capital, we outline here the big ideas and the practical means to help the next mayor create a greener London by the end of their first term in 2020.

The report's main themes:  What the Mayor could do by 2020

A healthy air city

  • Clean up London’s buses
  • Start to phase out diesel taxis and private hire vehicles by 2017
  • A clean lungs fund to tackle pollution around schools

A wild city

  • A Green Infrastructure Commissioner
  • Better funding for London’s parks and green spaces
  • A ‘green rooftop’ requirement on all new commercial developments
  • Protect London’s wildlife sites
  • Wild green spaces for all
  • Better green spaces for at least 100 social housing estates by 2020
  • New wild London trails
  • New wild wetlands

A low carbon city

  • New regulatory powers to raise energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector
  • An interest free energy efficiency loan scheme for businesses
  • Tenfold increase in solar power
  • Stop wasting heat

A zero waste city

  • One recycling system for all
  • Lead on procuring longer lasting, recyclable goods and services

A  walking and cycling city

  • More walkable ‘town centres’
  • Extend ‘Mini Holland’ programmes and cycle hire across the city
  • Rush hour ban for unsafe lorries

Download the full report

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Karl Brown's Avatar
Karl Brown posted a reply #2034 02 Mar 2016 09:24
So after Boris (and DEFRA) not getting to grips with the silent killer that is air pollution (particulate limits were expected to be within legal limits by 2011 when first challenged by the EU, now it’ll be “within a decade”) just what will the next mayor bring?


There’s no real excuse for them to sit on their hands. Today the UK’s leading environmental organisations have jointly proposed a set of ideas, including a Clean Lungs Fund to tackle air pollution around the most at-risk schools, and for a big push on the walking and cycling infrastructure to make a healthier approach to transport more viable for Londoners.


Get the feeling it’s the same old message coming out from every which way pointing in exactly the same direction for what must happen – excepting for some local noise?
Paul Mandel's Avatar
Paul Mandel posted a reply #2038 03 Mar 2016 23:20
Karl Brown: here's the "local noise" or at least a small part of it because as well proven this "local noise" is the noise of at least 75% of the local population.

You may be interested to know my FOI request has revealed that even by their own statistics Enfield Council's mini-Holland plans for Enfield Town are opposed by 75% of residents. This matches almost exactly the results of David Burrowes A105 scheme referendum that you have been very critical of.

If Enfield Council had not rejected the 1,800 postcard responses it received on the A105 consultation, that also would have shown overwhelming rejection.

Those who have fallen hook line and sinker for the hysterical reporting on air qualiiy in the Evening Standard and elsewhere, will agree wholeheartedly with the alarmist rubbish, encapsulated in the title of this topic.

We all want cleaner air.

If you want to know what has been happening to air quality look at proper evidence and as you will see there has been a steady year by year improvement.

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/486085/Emissions_of_air_pollutants_statistical_release_2015_-_Final__2_.pdf

www.lambeth.gov.uk/sites/default/files/pnp_Lambeth_Air_Quality_Progress_Report_2014.pdf

In the last wwo decades the rate of improvement has slowed but that is the result of flawed environmental policies, started by the last Labour governent that gave preferable tax treatment to diesel over petrol vehicles.

And of course the car manufacturers, with support from various governments, are bringing out more and more zero and low emmision vehicles, such as Karl Browns's new (!) CAR (!), and contributing enormously to the clean up
Basil Clarke's Avatar
Basil Clarke posted a reply #2039 04 Mar 2016 00:24

Paul Mandel wrote:
Those who have fallen hook line and sinker for the hysterical reporting on air qualiiy in the Evening Standard and elsewhere, will agree wholeheartedly with the alarmist rubbish, encapsulated in the title of this topic.

We all want cleaner air.

If you want to know what has been happening to air quality look at proper evidence


This is not hysteria, it's a very belated realisation of the true state of our air and the medical and human crisis it is causing. The Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health only last month published a wake-up call report:

www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/every-breath-we-take-lifelong-impact-air-pollution









Read the report here
.

Just because the facts don't suit someone's lifestyle, they can't just deny them.
Tom Mellor's Avatar
Tom Mellor posted a reply #2040 04 Mar 2016 10:37
Of course ''we all want cleaner air'', which is why no actual counter proposition is made. I would assume that people who want cleaner air would limit their contribution by not driving the pathetically short journeys, but that isn't happening.

I can't believe you think it is hysteria though. If you look beyond the headlines, you will find the headlines stem from research. 9,000 deaths per year is not hysteria.
Paul Mandel's Avatar
Paul Mandel posted a reply #2042 04 Mar 2016 13:44
This post is sexes up what has already been sexed up.
The headline on the US cable channel bulletin:

British air quality partially to blame for 40,000 deaths per year. Using a cake analogy is that a few crumb, a mouthful or a slice? Any more that and they would have used the adverb, largely.

Then , the report goes on to say, that this is mainly due to diesel emissions. Most of those diesel emissions are from buses and commercial vehicles. But as I said in my last comment, the situation is not helped by the move towards diesel cars in recent years. that is the result of flawed government environmental policies. An example of the law of unintended consequences. Well intentioned often ignore this rule of life.

What's the sensible solution, it is not being anti car, it is being pro clean automotive technology.

How? Basically doing what governments already are. But I accept they could be bolder.
Improved diesel emissions standards. - only partially successful.
  • Improved emissions testing for vehicles. Vehicle test cycles should also be more realistic.
  • Encouraging alternative fuel e.g. electric and hydrogen fuel cells.
  • Oh, of course. Improving and building better roads, in particular increasing capacity at over saturated junctions. And not wasting money on ridiculous anti-car and bus user schemes like the so called mini-Hollands.

  • So, is the original post hysterical? Answer yes.
Tom Mellor's Avatar
Tom Mellor posted a reply #2043 04 Mar 2016 18:49
So Paul, why do you think that we should be building more for the polluting vehicles but nothing for the non polluting, especially when the non polluting have many other positive attributes the polluting vehicles don't have?
Paul Mandel's Avatar
Paul Mandel posted a reply #2044 04 Mar 2016 22:54
Tom. How about non-polluting motor vehicles? How about dedicated routes for bicycles on their own completely new infrastructure, not flitching from everyone else.
Basil Clarke's Avatar
Basil Clarke posted a reply #2045 05 Mar 2016 00:15
Stepping in in my moderator role, this has gone back to the familiar Paul vs Tom debate and has strayed away from the topic of air pollution. So a request to you both to desist.

However, I just want to correct one earlier point about the sources of emissions from diesel vehicles in London:

Paul Mandel wrote:
Then , the report goes on to say, that this is mainly due to diesel emissions. Most of those diesel emissions are from buses and commercial vehicles. But as I said in my last comment, the situation is not helped by the move towards diesel cars in recent years. that is the result of flawed government environmental policies. An example of the law of unintended consequences. .


This is not actually the case:



Cars are a bigger problem that buses or trucks in London. For a start, they greatly outnumber buses and trucks, but also they have not had the same strict emissions standards applied, not to mention the scandalous business of rigged test results vs real life.

See also this parliamentary answer, in this case referring to the entire country, showing cars as emitting nearly half the NOX:

Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions:Written question - 21781

Q Asked by Daniel Zeichner(Cambridge)Asked on: 11 January 2016

Department for Environment, Food and Rural AffairsMotor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions21781

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of nitrogen dioxide pollution in the UK is caused by emissions from private cars.

A Answered by: Rory Stewart Answered on: 18 January 2016

We assess emissions in terms of nitrogen oxides (NOx) rather than nitrogen dioxide (NO2) because the proportion of NO2 varies significantly across vehicle types. Passenger cars (including both petrol and diesel vehicles) contribute 29% of the total emissions of NOx in the UK. Passenger cars contribute 45% of NOX emissions from road transport.

source: www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-01-11/21781


As Paul points out, successive governments are culpable in the popularity of diesel cars. However, I think that Paul is being charitable with regard to the law of unintended consequences.

The toxicity of particulates emitted by diesel engines has been known for 15 years or more, but has only been widely publicised recently. Governments were aware of it but deliberately chose to sweep the problem under the carpet.

By contrast, governments were under pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions (quite correctly) and saw encouraging diesel as an easy way to do that rather than doing the right thing, which would have been to take steps to reduce emissions from petrol-engined cars - both through stricter technical standards and by encouraging people to drive smaller cars and to drive less.

Whether or not my conspiracy theory is right, it's clear that something has to be done about diesel vehicles urgently. There is some good progress as regards buses in London (apart from the Borisbus fiasco) and it seems that cleaner taxis are not far off. HGVs will continue to be a problem, but there are proposals to combine deliveries to inner city destinations using depots on the outskirts. Private hire vehicles (minicabs) need to be tackled too - no less stringently than black cabs.

But diesel cars need to be phased out as quickly as possible. There should be an immediate ban on their sale and I think the government should introduce a scrappage scheme, since they are partially responsible. In the meantime, people should use them less.

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Sign before 10th April to safeguard the Pinkham Way nature conservation site

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