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London mayor urged to declare climate emergency

"Catastrophic" climate breakdown could be as little as 12 years away says assembly member

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London Assembly calls for carbon reduction targets to be urgently updated
London Assembly calls for carbon reduction targets to be urgently updated

The London Assembly has called on the city’s mayor to institute an emergency plan and to declare a “climate emergency” in a bid to ensure London is carbon neutral by 2030.

 

The assembly, which forms part of the Greater London Authority, is an elected body that holds the mayor and mayoral advisers to account by publicly examining policies and programmes through committee meetings, plenary sessions, site visits and investigations.

 

Following Bristol’s lead

 

The move follows the city of Bristol declaring a climate emergency in November 2018, the first UK council to do so.

 

“Catastrophic climate breakdown might be as little as 12 years away – this would have profound impacts on every aspect of our lives in London from flooding and overheating in summers, disruption in our food supply chains as well as in the wider natural world,” said Caroline Russell, assembly member and British Green Party councillor who proposed the motion.

 

“The mayor needs to be at the forefront of this challenge, declaring a climate emergency and an urgent updating of his carbon reduction targets to make London carbon neutral by 2030, decades ahead of his current plans, setting a precedent for other major and world cities.”

 

The assembly noted that the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise, and confirms that limiting global warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities and others.

“We welcome action by Bristol city council and other city councils around the world to declare and commit resources to tackling a climate emergency”

In its motion, the assembly noted the mayor’s climate change mitigation and adaptation responsibilities and recognises that he aims to make London a zero-carbon city by 2050 and would welcome further ambitious steps:

 

“We welcome action by Bristol city council and other city councils around the world to declare and commit resources to tackling a climate emergency.”

 

The motion continued: “We urge the mayor to declare a climate emergency, supported by specific emergency plans with the actions needed to make London carbon neutral by 2030, call on government to give him the powers and funding to make this possible and, as vice chair of the C40 cities network, to be a leader on this agenda.”

 

C40 is a network of the world’s largest cities taking action to address climate change.

 

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