Last week the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, presented his new 2050 Environment Strategy to the London Assembly for consideration, ahead of its official publication in the coming weeks.
The strategy focuses on ways to make London a cleaner, greener, healthier city by tackling dangerous air pollution, increasing recycling, and boosting green spaces. Ambitious targets include London becoming a zero-carbon city and at least 50% green by 2050.
The strategy incorporates feedback from the earlier consultation stage where over 3,000 London residents and 370 stakeholders, including businesses and community groups, shared their thoughts. As a result, targets such as the introduction of zero-emission zones (ZEZ) in some town centres will now be brought forward from 2025 to 2020, with the aim of accelerating the take up of electric vehicles and reducing air pollution. Businesses operating in London will be required to cut fleet emissions by switching to alternatively fuelled vehicles much more quickly than originally envisaged.
In addition, under this strategy London will adopt its own carbon budgets to ensure the city achieves its decarbonising target by 2050. The first target is a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions from the 1990 levels between 2018 and 2022. If achieved, this would be an even greater reduction than the Government’s target and would align with the Paris climate agreement’s aim to limit global climate change to 1.5 degrees.
The BVRLA has been working with local authorities across the UK, including London, to discuss the impact and implementation of clean air zones and other low emission targets. The association will continue to work to ensure measures introduced are both effective at improving air quality as well as fair to businesses.