Tuesday, February 27, 2007

London's Leadership

In a week of big announcements and bold plans to tackle climate change, the city of London has thrown its hat into the ring. Today, Mayor Ken Livingstone unveiled a detailed plan to slash carbon emissions by 60% within 20 years and place the city at the forefront of the battle against climate change.

In introducing the plan, Livingstone said "All of us have a responsibility, actions taken at an individual level can have consequences that are unacceptable for society as a whole. Buying a gas-guzzling 4x4 vehicle is an 'individual choice' but it creates carbon emissions that contribute to global warming and harm everyone. It should be no more socially acceptable than to claim the right to dump rubbish in the street."

Specifics of the plan address domestic and commercial space, transportation and energy supply.

Domestic

  • Up to 50% subsidies on insulation - free for homes on benefits - to target the 1.4m houses without proper insulation
  • A "concierge service" costing £50 to £200 including an audit of a household and full management of the conversion to a greener lifestyle
  • Green homes scheme to build on work of groups like the Energy Saving Trust


Commercial
  • Promotion of projects to encourage energy efficiency and minimise waste; recognition of firms doing the most

Transport
  • "Green consultants" to encourage cycling and use of public transport
  • Promotion of fuel-efficient cars


Energy supply

  • Encouragement of combined heat and power schemes for schools, hospitals and housing developments. London wants to generate a quarter of its electricity this way by 2025

The announcement represents a part of a larger movement among municipalities in the UK, as close to 200 local governments have now signed the Nottingham Declaration - a pledge to take action against global warming.

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