Thursday 29th September 2016                 Change text size:

Friends of the Earth want next London Mayor to tackle air pollution in the capital



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Friends of the Earth has asked the London mayoral candidates to commit to ten polices that will help make the capital a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live, work, and visit. They have found that all the main contenders have stronger green policies than the current government, although some do not address the on-going problem of air pollution in the city.

Friends of the Earth drew on expert thinking from scientists, campaign groups, its supporters, and communities facing the worst of London’s environment and came up with ten key policies to test how the next mayor will tackle London’s environmental problems.

They say Londoners are “tired of living in a city that’s filthy” and they want a mayor who will deliver the “cleaner, greener, fairer London they deserve”.

Friends of the Earth have assessed each of the main candidate’s responses to these ten environmental policies and have found that, regardless of who takes the keys to City Hall, all candidates have stronger policies than the Government on new-build housing standards, renewables, preserving nature, fracking, and divestment.

Based on their assessments, the greenest candidates are Sian Berry and Caroline Pidgeon. Sadiq Khan is just ahead of Zac Goldsmith on green policies, but by less than one point.

However, most important to their supporters was cleaning up London’s air – and the lead candiates have failed to impress with their current proposals. They also want London to run on 100 per cent renewables by 2050, and improved housing for London’s renters.

Friends of the Earth campaigner, Sophie Neuburg, said: “Our assessment shows that whoever is the next mayor, Londoners will benefit from greener policies than those of central Government, which has torn up initiatives from insulating cold homes to supporting solar energy.

“The frontrunners have signed up to policies including protecting the greenbelt, opposing Heathrow, and building high-quality, zero-carbon homes.

“On the critical issue of air pollution though, they still need to toughen their plans if Londoners are to be protected from one of the biggest threats to our health.”

Friends of the Earth supporters have expressed that they want the next Mayor of London to make the city greener and healthier, provide affordable high-quality homes for Londoners and protect them from runaway climate change.

Findings from Friends of the Earth highlighted that Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith have made some good commitments on air pollution, but their pledges are not enough to deal with the crisis Londoners face.

The next Mayor of London needs to do more to make London’s air cleaner and healthier. The front-runners need to strengthen their campaigns on how they would plan to address chronic air pollution faced by people in the capital.


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