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  • The Youth Vote UK

Environment: A Comparison of Mayor of London Candidate Manifestos

The London mayoral elections are coming up on the 6th of May. We here at The Youth Vote have been producing content on each of the candidate’s manifestos. We have now begun to group policy areas so that you can easily compare candidates’ views on specific issues. This post looks at the environment and climate change.

Sadiq Khan (Labour) ‘Standing Up for London’: Cleaning Up London’s Toxic Air

  • Declared a climate emergency

  • London carbon neutral by 2030

  • Green New Deal

  • Invest £10 million in green projects to support around 1,000 green jobs to boost London’s economic recovery and tackle twin dangers of air pollution and the climate emergency

  • Introduced Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

  • Aimed at reducing toxic air pollution

  • Reports say that by 2050 the ULEZ would:

  • Save 300,000 Londoners from air pollution related diseases

  • Saving London’s NHS and social care system £5 Billion

  • Report from 2019 showed :

  • A significant drop in air pollution plus 13,500 fewer polluting cars driven into the zone daily

  • Greener Travel

  • More Cycle Lanes

  • tripled amount of cycle lanes since 2016 from 50 - 162km

Young people find climate change to be one of the most pressing issues according to a 2020 YouGov poll showing 70% of youth 18–24 were more worried about climate change compared to 2019. With young peoples increased concern these policies may attract more young voters.

Shaun Bailey (Conservative) ‘Shaun’s Plan for London’: Make London Green

  • Work with City Hall to expand London’s green belt

  • The fundamental aim of the Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl (large built-up areas) by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and permanence.

  • Create new parklands

  • Introduce ‘Boris Bike-style’ scheme for electric cars

The environment and climate change are a key concern for young people. Although Shaun Bailey has not fully elaborated on these policies it will be interesting to see how he aims to implement them. The ‘Boris Bike-style’ scheme for electric cars is a rather unique policy and it will be interesting to see how he aims to implement it with regards to cost and infrastructure for the scheme.

Rosalind Readhead (Independent) ‘A Manifesto for a Climate and Ecological Emergency’: Tackling Climate Change

  • Education and awareness of climate change

  • A low Tech New Green Deal

  • Working with the international community

  • Bringing climate targets forward to 2025

  • ‘Town fund’ to raise money for solar expansion from London’s wealthy citizens

  • A Karma Tax

Rosalind sees climate change as the biggest problem facing all of us today and without immediate and effective action one which will be irreversible and devastating. She wishes to educate people on the current climate crisis to make the public fully aware of the extent of environmental degradation. Rosalind proposes a karma tax that aims to tax companies for their contribution to embedded carbon which has already been produced. Companies such as BP and Shell would be the main targets from this as Rosalind argues that they have contributed heavily to the construction of a carbon dependent culture. The Karma tax would generate income which would fund a greater environmental transformation of London. Rosalind also believes that to tackle the climate crisis more community lead approaches are needed to bring decision making down to the local level. Throughout Rosalind’s manifesto, she is focused on tackling climate change and making London a leading example of a new green city and ecological lifestyles.

Dr. Peter Gammon (UKIP) ‘Peter’s 6 Key Policies for A Better, Safer, London For All’: A Greener London

  • Protect London’s parks

  • 10 new parks & green spaces

  • ‘plant a tree by 23’ youth initiative

  • Sustainable policies which do not penalise the poor

His primary policy is to plant more trees as he believes they are the solution to reducing CO2 emissions and fighting global warming.

Furthermore, he has emphasised the importance of parks and green spaces, not just for the environment, but also for people's mental and physical health.

Crucially, he wants to implement green policies that don’t penalise the poor which he thinks is often the case.

Nims Obunge (Independent) ‘Nims for LDN’: Make London Electric

  • Champion a New Green London

  • Deliver a Smart City: Zero Emission Infrastructure

  • Ensure Carbon neutrality by 2030

  • Greening of London. Planting a million trees

  • Make deliveries electric

Nims wishes to make green policies central to his Mayorship if he is elected. He aims to tackle environmental issues in two ways. Firstly, by incentivising businesses to take up green policies and practices. Secondly, by introducing legislation which helps reduce London’s carbon emissions and protects and promotes green spaces. He also aims to have London carbon neutral by 2030.

Brian Rose (Independent) ‘Transform London 2021’: Green First

  • New green spaces the public can enjoy.

  • Additional retail space to support businesses.

  • More room for foot traffic to encourage visitors to return to the city.

  • Reduce traffic congestion.

  • Speed up transportation.

  • Improve air quality in central London.

Rose believes tackling the clear issues of congestion and air pollution in London and instead focusing on new green spaces and more pedestrian space will transform the city as well as help boost the economy and encourage more tourism.

David Kurten (Independent) ‘#MakeLondonGreatAgain’: Other Policies

  • Scrap HS2 (High Speed 2)

  • Protect Our Heritage and Environment

HS2 is a government backed fast railway linking London, the Midlands, the North and Scotland. Some, including David, see the project as too expensive and unnecessary while others see as much needed infrastructure improvement and critical to the UK’s low carbon transport future.

David Kurten also wants to celebrate British culture and achievements this includes protecting pubs and historic buildings from ‘regeneration’, end densification and the uncontrolled construction of ugly tower blocks, protect the green belt and Metropolitan Open Land and no more construction on GLA/TfL owned green land and car parks

Luisa Porritt (Liberal Democrat) ‘Luisa Porritt for London’: A Green Roadmap

  • Invest in electric vehicle charging points

  • Adopt World Health Organisation standards for clean air into law

  • Make all London buses “green”

  • Scrap the Silvertown Tunnel project (a £2 billion plan to build a new road in East London)

  • Invest in better, safer cycle routes

  • Schemes to encourage cycling

Greater environmental protection is certainly a salient issue for young voters, so a comprehensive green agenda may appeal well to this voter group. Although these are fairly standard green aims, Porritt claims London is falling behind other major cities and needs a Green Roadmap to remain innovative and ahead of the trend in terms of facing the climate emergency.

Farah London (Independent) ‘Bring Back London’: The London with Clean Air and Water

  • Implementing a long-term Environmental Protection Drive across London

  • Improve air quality and cleaning up Thames

  • Protect bee population

  • Change the landscape of London with micro algae installations across London

  • Clean air within days of installation

Her goal is to become the greenest Mayor yet. Climate change and the environment are some of the biggest issues for young people and Farah London offers some of the most innovative and modern solutions to these problems. Her most innovative policy is the installation of micro algae across London, which she claims will clean the air within days of installation by consuming pollutant gases in the air and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere.

The Policy and News Analysis Team

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