London mayoral candidate plans 'clean energy revolution'

London mayoral candidate plans 'clean energy revolution'

London mayoral candidate plans 'clean energy revolution'

Businesses based in London could soon see a number of new green initiatives and renewable energy projects starting across the city, if Sadiq Khan succeeds in his bid to become mayor.

The Labour MP and candidate to take over from current mayor Boris Johnson has announced a plan to start a "clean energy revolution" in the capital.

Mr Khan wants to establish Energy for Londoners, a non-profit organisation that would lead the mission to promote low-carbon technologies and community energy generation across London.

He made the announcement on a visit to the Islington Bunhill Energy Centre, a district heating scheme that will draw heat from the Tube to warm over 1,000 homes.

The Labour hopeful claimed that Energy for Londoners would deliver jobs and growth in new, clean technologies and would also help the capital achieve its ambitions of cutting carbon emissions, generating its own power and becoming a global leader on environmental issues.

One of the key features of the project is a strong solar power strategy designed to use roofs, public land and Transport for London premises to deliver sustainable energy.

Its other policies will include ensuring new property developments feature solar and low-carbon measures, encouraging collective purchasing of community-generated energy and establishing more district heating schemes like the Islington Bunhill centre.

Mr Khan stated that his aim is to be "the greenest mayor London has ever had" and also to ensure that the city is at the forefront of new sustainable technologies.

He claimed that Energy for Londoners will bring "a renewed focus" to attempts to make the capital cleaner and greener.

"It will expand the use of solar across the city and support communities who want to set up their own green energy generation schemes," he continued. "And it will roll out schemes like the Bunhill Energy Centre that take waste heat from the Tube and make the most of buildings across the city to generate energy from solar.

"All of this will help London reduce its carbon emissions and generate more of its own energy in a much cleaner way. Building a cleaner, greener city will only come about through leadership from the top. For eight years, London has lacked that leadership."

Mr Khan argued that, while Mr Johnson has been mayor, London has slipped from its position as a world leader on green issues to a "middle-ranking global environmental city at best".

His Conservative rival in the race to become mayor is Zac Goldsmith, who has stated that he will deliver more homes, better transport, cleaner air and safer streets without raising mayoral council tax.

Mr Goldsmith is the former editor of the Ecologist and has been a vocal opponent of plans to expand Heathrow airport.

He has also said he wants to make London the greenest city in the world.

Sophie Neuberg, a political campaigner with Friends of the Earth, said Mr Khan's pledges on solar power and cleaning up London transport were "welcome and important", but stressed that all the mayoral candidates will be judged on their "specific commitments" to tackle certain issues.

She highlighted standards in cold private rented homes, pollution from London's 9,000 buses and renewable energy capacity as key areas where action is needed.


Posted by Julie Tucker