Environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace have analysed the policies of four Mayoral candidates to determine which offers the greenest vision for London.
The groups say Green Party candidate Jenny Jones emerged as the greenest candidate, followed by Labour’s Ken Livingstone. Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick is ranked third while Boris Johnson of the takes fourth place.
To score the candidates, the groups assessed the manifestos, pledges and published records of the four candidates and ranked them them on six key environmental issues: air pollution, transport, aviation, climate change, energy and energy efficiency and green spaces.
Friends of the Earth’s Policy and Campaigns Director Craig Bennett said: “If you live in the capital and care about your health and green spaces, and the city’s economy, you should care who runs London.”
“The next Mayor must put the environment at the heart of policy-making – and give us all a prosperous, clean and safe capital to be proud of.”
Greenpeace Chief Scientist Dr Doug Parr said: “People look to world cities like London to provide political leadership on national and international problems like ending our oil and gas addiction, so temporarily sticking air pollution to roads and championing airport growth and cars won’t cut it.
“But policies to insulate the city’s draughty homes, make public transport more appealing and cycling safer can have a serious impact on carbon emissions and Londoners’ wallets and wellbeing.”
The findings of the study are:
“Jenny Jones’ proposals, such as London-wide road user charging, address the scale of action needed to make London’s air safe to breathe and to meet climate targets. This would cut fares and traffic levels, helping create the shift to walking, cycling and public transport needed to keep the capital moving. She understands the need to support policies that are win, win, win – environmentally, socially and economically.
“Ken Livingstone delivered difficult and ambitious green politics in office – his Congestion Charge, Low Emission Zone and climate change targets and strategies were groundbreaking. Environmental issues again run centrally throughout Livingstone’s manifesto in 2012, with strong commitments on most of the key areas. However, he failed to meet EU air pollution targets as Mayor, and proposed some measures which would have worsened pollution such as the Thames Gateway road bridge. This time round he has less bold commitments than in previous elections, especially on road pricing.
“Brian Paddick’s central London Low Emission Zone is a strong air pollution policy – helping to push his ranking to second in that category. However, he supports new river crossings for vehicles in East London which would increase traffic, and greater clarity is needed about whether his support for larger aeroplanes will result in increased climate emissions and noise pollution.
“Boris Johnson’s strongest environmental record is on green spaces – he recognises their intrinsic value and importance for Londoners’ wellbeing. His Capital Growth scheme and protection for back gardens have been strong points in office. However, his transport policies to increase road space for motor vehicles would increase traffic and pollution. His support for a 50 per cent increase in flights from City Airport and a new multi-runway airport in the Thames Estuary sets him apart as a candidate who does not respect the urgent need to tackle air pollution and climate change. Boris tops the ranking on green spaces, but comes last in all other categories.”
Candidates for Mayor include Jenny Jones (Green party), Ken Livingstone (Labour), Lawrence Webb (UKIP) Boris Johnson (Conservative) and Brian Paddick (Liberal Democrat). A full list of candidates can be found here.