Mayor of London Ken Livingstone is in New York to take part in the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit which brings together more than 30 elected Mayors and delegations from the world’s largest cities.
Mayor Livingstone addressed a meeting of the summit on the subject of Climate Change telling representatives “the fight to tackle climate change will be won or lost in cities.”
Mr Livingstone added “together, our cities have considerable purchasing clout and the C40, through the Clinton Climate Initiative, is seeking to unleash that power, driving down the price of the products and services that will enable us to rapidly improve energy efficiency and cut emissions.”
The Mayor has also been discussing London’s experiences of congestion charging. “Despite hostile media coverage predicting doom and gloom, it proved to be a success, with a 38 per cent reduction in private car use and carbon emissions down 20 per cent in the congestion charge zone” said Mr Livingstone.
“We invested heavily in our public transport system to offer Londoners a real alternative to their cars and the results speak for themselves – we now have over 80 per cent more people choosing to cycle and over six million people traveling by bus each day.”
Speaking of the future of the scheme the Mayor said he was “now consulting on taking the congestion charge to its next logical step” which would entail turning the charge into “a major tool in our drive to reduce carbon emissions, by offering 100 per cent discount for low emission cars and a charge of 25 pounds for the highest emitting vehicles.”
The Mayor also used the summit to announce an initiative to carbon-offset the flights of the two National Football League teams, the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants, who will participate in the first competitive NFL game ever to be played outside the Americas at Wembley Stadium this October.