Conservative candidate for Mayor Boris Johnson launched his environment manifesto earlier today and committed himself to working with London Boroughs to deliver green initiatives including a reduction in the levels of waste sent to landfill.
Speaking ahead of his launch Johnson said he wanted to “make London the greenest city in the world” and accused incumbent Mayor Ken Livingstone of “jetting around the world attending climate change conferences” as a result of which “key aspects of our local environment have been neglected”.
“Increasing recycling may appear to be a small gesture but will actually improve the lives of thousands of Londoners. I want to work with London boroughs to make that a reality”.
Key pledges include a commitment to protect the green belt, his previously announced policy of planting 10,000 trees across the capital and £6 million for improving open spaces.
Mr Johnson also said he would look at schemes which pay households in the capital to recycle and promote hybrid buses.
There would also be an annual prize of £20k for the best new ideas for low carbon technology from graduates.
Mr Johnson accused Mayor Livingstone of being “out of touch with everyday Londoners” and said “areas that have pleasant, clean, open spaces are less likely to suffer from crime. It is time we had a new approach in London. That is why we need the improvement of our open spaces as a top priority on the environmental agenda. I am the man to bring about that change”.
Responding to claims he is out of touch with Londoners Mr Livingstone said “Sixty-one per cent of Londoners support a £25 CO2 charge on gas guzzling cars like some so-called Chelsea Tractors, high powered sports cars and luxury executive vehicles, yet Boris Johnson is not willing to alienate wealthy, Tory voters and prepared to oppose even the overwhelming view of Londoners in support of environmentally damaging policies”.