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Rosalind Readhead's "A Manifesto for a Climate and Ecological Emergency": An Analysis

Rosalind Readhead is running as an independent candidate in the London mayoral election on the 6th of May. Having been a strong campaigner for policies that tackle climate change, Rosalind is promoting a manifesto that is heavily focused on making London carbon neutral. She has previously campaigned on increasing London’s cycling safety, reducing traffic congestion and banning private cars. She also pledged to live a net carbon-neutral lifestyle which she has been committed to since September 2019. Her manifesto policies are focused on tackling the climate crisis as soon as possible, as for Rosalind ‘winning slowly is the same as losing outright’ in the fight to reduce our emissions. Rosalind wants to tackle the climate crisis in a variety of different ways but has set ambitious targets with radical strategies to reach them in London.



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.



Transport

  • Ban Private Cars (except for blue badge) and remove all on street parking

  • The creation of a dense and segregated cycle network

  • Free accesses to bicycles for Londoners

  • Car-free Fridays

  • Ban automation in motor vehicles

  • Stop HS2

  • Halt all expansion of London Airports

  • Reduce emissions from road transport down to net zero by 2025


Rosalind’s transport policy is based around the reduction of CO2 in London as well as taking back London’s streets for pedestrians and cyclists. Rosalind sees new and even electric cars as part of the problem as there is a lot of CO2 produced in their production. Instead, her transport policy focuses on a rapid and radical adjustment of London’s streets to accommodate mass bicycle and green public transport usage. Furthermore, the expansion of green spaces will encourage Londoners to take up a car-free low carbon lifestyle. Rosalind has also promoted an ambitious target to reach by 2025, which is to reduce the CO2 produced by London, this would require rapid change and action, but Rosalind believes it is the only way to protect the environment. Transport is a central focus of her manifesto as it is one of the largest contributors to CO2 emissions in London.



Housing

  • Retrofit current homes to meet carbon efficient home targets

  • Geothermal Green Streets

  • Solar panels on all viable roofs

  • Community micro-grids

  • Ban second home ownership

  • Cap rents


A redesigning of London is not just limited to London’s streets but also to people’s homes and how we power and heat them. Rosalind wishes to promote the installation of insulation, low carbon power and heating across London in both new and existing homes. The new space saved from removing cars from many of London’s streets would provide space for the installation of ground-source heat pumps which can provide an entire street's heating needs. Rosalind also recognises the social and economic housing needs of Londoners, promoting caps on rents and increasing the number of affordable homes through the efficient use of the current housing stock.

With increased concern for climate issues and international movements, many Londoners may turnout for Rosalind on the 6th of May with many wishing to reach the targets she has proposed. There is potential concern that she may divide the votes of the green party candidate Sian Berry. Furthermore, policies that are proposed in Rosalind’s manifesto potentially fall outside the remit of the Mayor of London instead, requiring national legislation. However, Rosalind has stated how she is running for mayor to increase awareness and act as a platform for the climate issue. She wishes to promote environmentally sustainable policies in public discourse which seek to radically and quickly help us combat climate change. Her manifesto certainly achieves this by creating a pool of potential policies which can help London tackle the environmental crisis.


Sam Ward (Policy and News Analysis Associate)

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