London Assembly declares Climate Emergency

In light of the IPCC’s warning that the world has but 12 years to avoid the catastrophic impacts of runaway climate change, the London Assembly has followed the lead of Bristol City Council and declared a Climate Emergency, calling for London to become carbon neutral by 2030.

London Assembly
London Assembly

Mark Percy

Green World

A motion declaring a Climate Emergency in London has been passed by the London Assembly, calling on the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to put an emergency plan in place to make London carbon neutral by 2030.

The motion was proposed by Green Party Assembly Member Caroline Russell and was agreed by 12 votes for to zero against. Russell was moved to propose the motion after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that the international community has less than 12 years to limit global temperature rises to no more than 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels, or face devastating and irreversible impacts from climate change.

Commenting on the motion, Russell said: “Catastrophic climate breakdown might be as little as twelve years away – this would have profound impacts on every aspect of our lives in London from flooding and overheating in summers, disruption in our food supply chains as well as in the wider natural world.  

“The Mayor needs to be at the forefront of this challenge, declaring a climate emergency and an urgent updating of his carbon reduction targets to make London carbon neutral by 2030, decades ahead of his current plans, setting a precedent for other major and world cities.”

The declaration follows in the recent footsteps of Bristol City Council, which became the first UK city to declare a Climate Emergency after a motion put forward by Green Party Councillor Carla Denyer was passed unanimously and committed Bristol to bringing forward its carbon neutrality targets forward 20 years to 2030.

The full text of the motion reads: ‘This Assembly notes that the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise, and confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities and others.

‘This Assembly notes the Mayor’s climate change mitigation and adaptation responsibilities and recognises that he aims to make London a zero-carbon city by 2050 and would welcome further ambitious steps.

‘We welcome action by Bristol City Council and other city councils around the world to declare and commit resources to tackling a ‘Climate Emergency’.

We urge the Mayor to declare a Climate Emergency, supported by specific emergency plans with the actions needed to make London carbon neutral by 2030, call on government to give him the powers and funding to make this possible and, as vice chair of the C40 Cities network, to be a leader on this agenda.’