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  • Writer's pictureTony Devenish AM

Sadiq Khan must listen to Andy Burnham, scrap the ULEZ, take real action on climate change

A new report by Tony Devenish AM, GLA Conservatives environment spokesperson, finds that Sadiq Khan has fallen behind Andy Burnham, Andy Street and Ben Houchen on his environment commitments. Amongst other recommendations, it calls for him to scrap his ineffective ULEZ expansion and reinvest the £250m in a scrappage scheme and other measures to tackle air pollution instead.

The report, Regional Government Delivering the Green Agenda – 12 Months On, which coincides with the COP27 summit, accuses Sadiq Khan of putting out regular press releases announcing new projects while failing to sign up to tangible metrics to measure success. It notes that he has set an ambitious target of net-zero by 2030 without clear deliverables and no real plan for achieving it.

By contrast the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, to his credit, has significantly lowered the emissions of public buildings in Greater Manchester. Mayor Burnham has paused the Manchester Clean Air Zone (CAZ) until it can be designed to not disadvantage residents and businesses, in contrast to Sadiq Khan who has been dismissive of similar concerns with his ULEZ expansion.

Both Andy Street and Ben Houchen are also credited in the report with pursuing practical policies that tackle climate change, instead of following Sadiq Khan’s approach of “grabbing headlines and selling books.”

The report recommends:

  1. The Mayor should continue to review what the entire GLA group can do to lead on Green best practice. This includes working with the Mayor of Greater Manchester to learn how the reduction in carbon emissions from public buildings was reduced and investigate introducing this in London.

  2. The Mayor should not go ahead with the ULEZ expansion and instead invest the £250m in a scrappage scheme for Londoners to upgrade their vehicles and other measures to tackle air pollution.

  3. The Mayor must drive up car sharing through car clubs which on average remove 23.5 private cars from the roads. Londoners need proactive Mayor-led activities rather than just demanding more funding.

  4. The Mayor should change the London Plan to allow for car club parking spaces to be implemented in addition to the overall allocation of parking in new estates.

  5. The Mayor of London should invest the income gained from the current ULEZ into delivering a zero-emission bus fleet quicker and increase the number of rapid electric vehicle chargers - making it a priority like that of the West Midlands.

  6. The Mayor of London should review his approach to working with Government to get the best deal for Londoners. He should consider how other metro Mayors both Labour and Conservative work constructively with the Government and put an action plan in place to improve his relationship with the Government to deliver for London.

  7. The Mayor of London should rethink his current energy schemes such as London Power and the Warmer Homes scheme and use funding to investigate longer term energy solutions such as hydrogen power or investing in newer carbon capture technologies.

Tony Devenish AM, GLA Conservatives Environment spokesperson, said: “Sadiq Khan only cares about grabbing headlines and selling books, so it is no surprise that he has fallen so far behind on tackling climate change and improving the environment.

“His ULEZ expansion will do virtually nothing to help, and unlike Andy Burnham who at least is willing to listen to residents, Sadiq Khan is arrogantly dismissive of anyone who questions him, as we saw at People’s Question Time and in his response to his recent carbon emitting flights to Argentina.

“Sadiq Khan needs to learn a trick or two from Andy Burnham and other Mayors, stop focusing on headlines, scrap his useless ULEZ expansion, and take real action to combat climate change.”


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