Making London the first zero carbon transport city

Today I’m promising to achieve a new zero carbon target by 2030 for Transport – using the Mayor’s powers alone.

This is possible and is the right goal to set. And for transport, I believe we have the powers we need to get there much sooner than the current Mayor’s plans for 2050. For other areas of policy, the city will struggle to get to net zero without a transformation in Government policy too – but for Transport I don’t believe there is any excuse not to act now and to act decisively.

In the Assembly, Greens have got the current Mayor to declare a climate emergency and he now talks about a 2030 goal for to net zero carbon, but he has not yet made the new plans to go with this goal. 

His Zero Carbon Pathways Model is still set for 2050, and still leaves a huge amount undone in ten years’ time. 

On road transport for example: the model shows that by 2030 Sadiq Khan’s detailed plans are content to still have two thirds of the CO2 emission levels as we had in 2015 – leaving two thirds of the work until after 2030. 

This is not good enough, when there are so many gaps in London’s transport plans: 

  • No traffic reduction target for London 
  • No mission to encourage and support people to shift their travel or travel less like we did in the Olympics
  • Not one shred of work on a smarter, fairer system of road charging. This is something I’ve pushed the current Mayor on over and over again, and would help make transport fairer (along with fairer fares) and raise new revenue for investment.
  • And he is still spending more than £2 billion on a new road tunnel at Silvertown, something I would cancel to invest in greener transport, instead of making things worse.

As Green Mayor, my plan will be comprehensive, involving all Londoners in getting to zero carbon transport by the right date.

We’d focus on reducing road traffic across the board, investing in healthy, welcoming streets, putting a real strategy together for transporting freight and goods, speeding up the shift to electric vehicles for essential journeys, and accelerating the conversion and replacement of all polluting buses by our target date.

And we wouldn’t forget to deal with the carbon emissions from the electricity we use for transport either. On the Assembly, my Green colleague Caroline Russell exposed in 2019 that only 0.01 per cent of TfL’s energy came from renewable sources. It took another year for the current Mayor to announce plans to start switching to greener energy.

As Green Mayor, I would kick start much faster investment in new renewable capacity that will not only bring down our transport carbon footprint, but also save money on Transport for London’s energy bills.

London should be the greenest city in the world. 

We could be the first city to get to zero carbon transport. 

With me as Mayor we’d have the right ambition and we’d achieve that goal. 

This week, London Cycling Campaign echoed our 2030 target in their calls for a zero carbon transport system.

And air pollution campaigners, have set out how to make a new plan to cut traffic and transform the main roads that are directly under the Mayor’s control.

Londoners need a Green Mayor who will listen to these campaigns, and work with Londoners to be truly ambitious about what we can achieve as a city.