London's Bold Plan For Greenhouse Gas Reductions Unveiled

<p>Mayor Livingstone set forth a bold, detailed plan to reduce London's greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2025. However, many sectors are outside the city's scope, such as an increase aviation emissions, and a nationwide price on the carbon pollution.</p>
March 3, 2007, 5am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"A detailed plan to slash London's carbon emissions by 60% within 20 years and place the city at the forefront of the battle against climate change will be announced today (Feb. 27) by Ken Livingstone," Mayor of London.

"The move is the most far-reaching attempted by a big city in the UK, but dozens of others are also planning action to cut emissions. Nearly 200 local authorities have a signed a pledge to take action, known as the Nottingham Declaration, and other cities, such as Birmingham, have set targets to reduce greenhouse gases."

"Mr Livingstone says: "All of us have a responsibility, actions taken at an individual level can have consequences that are unaccceptable for society as a whole. Buying a gas-guzzling 4x4 vehicle is an 'individual choice' but it creates carbon emisssions 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."

"The 60% target also relies heavily on ministers introducing regulations that place a nationwide price on the carbon pollution caused by fossil fuel use. Mr Livingstone has drawn up plans for such a scheme in London, which would charge the drivers of the most polluting cars £25 to enter the congestion zone. Similar moves across other sectors must be an "absolute priority" for ministers, the mayor's office said."

"The expected increase in flights into Heathrow and City airports will see London's aviation emissions rise from 22m tonnes of carbon dioxide last year to 35m tonnes in 2025. That means, even if today's reductions across the domestic, commercial and transport sectors are achieved, London's overall emissions would only fall by 20%"

"The package, for which the mayor's office will set aside £47m on next year's budget, is an attempt by Mr Livingstone to place the environment and climate change at the heart of his political programme. His team claim the package is the most comprehensive to be introduced by any comparable city government. "It is the defining issue," one aide said."

Thanks to Jennifer Alverson

Full Story:
Published on Saturday, January 27, 2007 in The Guardian
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