The London city Assembly has formally requested that Mayor Sadiq Khan declare a Climate Emergency, develop emergency plans for achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, and request special powers from the national government to achieve this goal.
Furthermore, the Assembly’s press release references The Climate Mobilization (!), including links to the recent Climate Emergency declarations in Hoboken and Berkeley, as well as Bristol, UK.
“Catastrophic climate breakdown might be as little as twelve years away – this would have profound impacts on every aspect of our lives in London from flooding and overheating in summers, disruption in our food supply chains as well as in the wider natural world,” said Caroline Russell, the London Assemblymember who proposed the motion.
“The Mayor need to be at the forefront of this challenge, declaring a climate emergency and an urgent updating of his carbon reduction targets to make London carbon neutral by 2030, decades ahead of his current plans, setting a precedent for other major and world cities,” Russell added.
This declaration effort comes on the heels of sustained action from Extinction Rebellion (XR), a direct action group demanding an emergency response to climate change and the destruction of the natural world. Recent nonviolent actions by XR have shut down London streets in an effort to elevate their demands.
While we do hope this declaration can be strengthened to include a commitment to drawdown and the restoration of a safe climate (not a 1.5C hotter world), the London Assembly’s action represents a major escalation of the Climate Emergency declaration campaign and a sign that our efforts to move the world into a Climate Emergency response are gaining traction.
The full text of the motion follows:
This Assembly notes that the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise, and confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities and others.
This Assembly notes the Mayor’s climate change mitigation and adaptation responsibilities and recognises that he aims to make London a zero-carbon city by 2050 and would welcome further ambitious steps.
We welcome action by Bristol city council and other city councils around the world to declare and commit resources to tackling a ‘Climate Emergency’.
We urge the Mayor to declare a Climate Emergency, supported by specific emergency plans with the actions needed to make London carbon neutral by 2030, call on government to give him the powers and funding to make this possible and, as vice chair of the C40 Cities network, to be a leader on this agenda.