In a recent report commissioned by City Hall and published by Element Energy it was found that London will need to reduce its car traffic by 27 percent if it is reach its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
While the capital did achieve a 57 percent reduction in workplace greenhouse gas emissions and 40 percent reduction in emissions from homes between 2000 and 2018, there was only a 7 percent reduction in emissions from transport.
Mayor Sadiq Khan described the report as a stark wake-up call for the Government on the need to provide much greater support to help London reach net-zero by 2030 and help the UK reach its national target, announced before Cop26.
How Can this be Achieved?
As it stands, there are only 2 percent electric vehicles on the roads in London so to achieve this goal for 2030, London will have to see a significant shift away from petrol and diesel vehicle use and towards walking and cycling, greater public transport use and cleaner vehicles.
The capital has seen a shift to driving during the pandemic with the cost of congestion rising to over £5bn last year, leading to gridlocked roads and toxic air pollution. The number of miles being driven in the capital has increased in recent years, despite statistics showing that more than a third of car trips in London could be made in under 25 minutes by walking, and that two-thirds could be cycled in less than 20 minutes.
The mayor warns the cost of inaction – to the economy, livelihoods, the environment and the health of Londoners – would be far greater than the cost of taking the necessary action to transition to net-zero and reduce air pollution.
“This new report must act as a stark wake-up call for the Government on the need to provide much greater support to reduce carbon emissions in London. It’s clear the scale of the challenge means we can’t do everything alone,” said Sadiq Khan, mayor of London.
“But I’m not willing to stand by and wait when there’s more we can do in London that could make a big difference. We simply don’t have time to waste. The climate emergency means we only have a small window of opportunity left to reduce carbon emissions to help save the planet, and, despite the world-leading progress we have made over the last few years, there is still far too much toxic air pollution permanently damaging the lungs of young Londoners.”