Despite the promises to keep to Ken Livingstone’s targets to crunch carbon in London and make it a flagship green city with low carbon emissions, a year in Boris Johnson is not doing enough.
Although some good progress has been made by the bumbling but well-liked politician, such as making commitments to cycle hire schemes and electric car networks and planting significant numbers of trees in the city. Like his predecessor however, Boris has also made his share of decisions and shows support for a number of environmentally polluting projects and developments that undermine his aims for making London a green capital.
Jenny Bates, Friends of the Earth campaigner in London commented,
“Boris Johnson has yet to show Londoners how he is going to keep his promise of making the city a world-class low carbon capital. Mayor Johnson must face up to the challenge of showing that both he and his party have what it takes to tackle climate change and make London a green capital to be proud of.”
Friends of the Earth are calling on Boris to take a number of important steps in order to reinforce his aims and green credentials, including making the introduction of initiatives to encourage more people to cycle and walk in the city a priority, and improve the public transport system of London. In addition, they have challenged the mayor to commit to making any replacement crossing proposals for the Thames Gateway road Bridge originally supported by Ken Livingstone and scrapped by Mr Johnson, to be exclusively for public transport and not another road bringing more congestion and emissions into the city.
One of Boris’ biggest green blunders is his support for air travel. Although Boris showed opposition to the proposed third runway at Heathrow, he has, in contradiction of this, shown support for a 50% increase in flights from London’s City Airport, as well as proposing to build a new 6 runway airport in the Thames Estuary, dubbed ‘Boris Island’.
So will Boris heed the calls to live up to his promises and back track on the proposals that undermine his green credentials to meet the aims to cut London’s carbon emissions by 60%? Let’s hope so.