Jenny Jones has called on Boris Johnson to make a number of significant decarbonisation pledges for London before the end of his time as mayor.
In a letter written to Johnson ahead of today’s Mayor’s Question Time, the Green Party member of the London Assembly outlined a number of points that the she believes are needed to reduce carbon emissions. The baroness claims the alternative is a future “defined by extreme and unpredictable weather events, political and economic instability, mass migration and food and water insecurity.”
Among her calls to the mayor is a request for a commitment to zero carbon homes in London. Despite the government scrapping its zero carbon homes policy, which was due to come into force in 2016, it is understood that the London Assembly has expressed desire to retain the policy in all London boroughs.
In her letter, Jones says the zero carbon homes requirement is a keystone of Johnson’s London Plan and Climate Mitigation and Energy Strategy, however it may be under threat from the government’s changes to building and planning regulation. She has therefore called on the mayor to ensure government doesn’t prevent his successor – due to be elected in May 2016 – is not prevented from keeping the standards in place for new builds when the London plan is revised.
Jones, who joined the House of Lords in 2013, also called for City Hall to pressure the government on the future of the feed-in tariff, which faces cuts of up to 87% under government plans announced earlier this year. The proposals sparked an immediate backlash from the solar industry, with the Solar Trade Association claiming the industry could lose 27,000 jobs as a result. Over a thousand jobs have already been lost with the closures of Mark Group and Climate Energy in October.
In her letter, Jones claims that it is essential the mayor get clarity from government about its proposals ahead of the COP21 summit in Paris later this month to prevent any further loss of jobs and companies involved in renewable technology in London.
Among her other points was a demand for Johnson to withdraw his support for carbon intensive programmes, such as aviation expansion and new road infrastructure, and scrap TfL plans for a motorway bridges across the Thames.
Jones has also called for Johnson to underwrite funding for the London Climate Change Partnership, which has lost funding from the Environment Agency and is in danger of closing as early as 2017.
Addressing Boris Johnson directly, Jenny Jones said: “Whilst the Paris climate change summit will be dominated by national governments, I believe strong action along these lines will have a major bearing on our future. Your lasting legacy could be to show real leadership on the defining political crisis of our age.”
By David Pratt.