Monthly Archives: March 2020

London’s wider greenhouse gas impacts

March 2020: A new research paper published by the Greater London Authority (GLA) considering an issue often raised – which is what is the total impact of London’s greenhouse gas emissions, taking into account the goods and services that Londoners use.

The paper ‘Consumption based Greenhouse Gas Emissions for London
(2001 – 2016)
‘ undertaken by the University of Leeds, sets out that it was commissioned to understand “the total greenhouse gas impact Londoners have, including those emissions that take place outside London’s physical boundaries, in order to tackle the climate emergency.” The methodology employed in the report allows for “emissions that occur due to the consumption activities of London residents, including all the emissions associated with the production of goods and services throughout their complete supply chain…” So what difference does it make to London’s GHG emissions when taking into account a combustion based route?

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Climate Safe Streets Report Launch

19 March 2020: The London Cycle Campaign (LCC) launched today its ‘Climate Safe Streets’ report, “a roadmap to decarbonise the capital’s roads in the next 10 years.” The Climate Safe Streets report sets out clear priorities for change, including:

Rapidly delivering a high-quality cycling network: to enable people to choose to cycle their everyday journeys

Introducing Smart Road User Charging: to discourage the most damaging and polluting motor vehicle trips

Supporting the growth of zero-carbon shared mobility options: such as dockless e-scooters (if made legal), cycles, e-bikes and electric car clubs, so that all Londoners have suitable, sustainable transport choices on their doorstep.

The report presents some helpful statistics on the different modes of transport in the city – as well as providing international comparisons, as well and setting out targets for 2030.

Read the full report here.

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Harrow Climate Emergency Update

19 March 2020: A wide ranging Harrow Council Cabinet paper ‘The Climate and Ecological Emergency – Interim Strategy and Action Plan‘ providing background to why the council has declared a climate emergency and sets out the challenge for the borough in terms of the level of emissions it is trying to reduce. Work undertaken to date to develop Harrow’s Proposed Strategic Framework for their forthcoming climate action plan has identified the following themes: Clean Energy Used Efficiently, Zero Emission Transport, a waste-free borough, Healthy Places for Us and the Rest of Nature, Good Governance and Long Term Sustainability, Ecoliterate and Engaged Communities, and a socially just transition. Read the full paper here.

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London Plan: letter from the Secretary of State for Housing to the Mayor

13 March 2020: The Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG), Robert Jenrick MP, has written to the Mayor on issues relating to housing and the New London Plan stating that there is a “need for an improved London Plan that meets London’s housing needs.” The Minister’s letter (which has attracted press attention – see here and here) goes on to say “I am left with no choice but to exercise my powers to direct changes.” An accompanying Annex to the letter sets out the changes the Minister wants to the London Plan. None of these relate to the major steps forward the New London Plan has proposed on increasing the carbon and energy efficiency of London’s new developments (see Policy SI 2 Minimising greenhouse gas emissions of the ‘Intend to Publish London Plan‘) – however – there will now be a delay to the publication to the London Plan until the Mayor enacts the changes set out in the Annex. The letter states:

“Due to the number of the inconsistencies with national policy and missed opportunities to increase housing delivery, I am exercising my powers under section 337 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 to direct that you cannot publish the London Plan until you have incorporated the Directions I have set out at Annex 1. Should you consider alternative changes to policy to address my concerns, I am also content to consider these.”

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How urban nature supports young people’s mental health and wellbeing in a diverse UK city

February 2020: Good to see this research being undertaken. Not in London but a ‘Northern UK city’ – but some useful insight here relevant to those working on similar issues in the capital.“Using interviews and creative arts workshops, we explored the value of urban nature for the mental health and wellbeing of 24 young people aged 17–27 years, 9 of whom had lived experience of mental health difficulties. Trees, water, open spaces and views were frequently experienced nature typologies offering benefits. Deteriorating landscapes, young people’s shifting identities and perceived time pressures disrupted support. Young people expressed how urban nature encounters were experienced as accepting and relational, offering a: stronger sense of self; feelings of escape; connection and care with the human and non-human world.” Open access paper here.

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