Will Khan be the greenest Mayor London has ever had?

Sadiq Aman Khan, a British Labour Party politician and a newly-elected Mayor of London won 1,310,143 votes against 994,614 for his main rival Zac Goldsmith of the Conservative party. Green Party candidate Sian Barry came third with 150,673 votes.

“I want to be the greenest Mayor London has ever had. I want London to be at the cutting edge of new green technologies, generating the growth and jobs of the future, Mr Khan said during his campaign.

“Energy for Londoners will make London a cleaner, greener city. It will expand the use of solar across the city and support communities who want to set up their own green energy generation schemes. And it will roll out schemes that take waste heat from the tube and make the most of buildings across the city to generate energy from solar, he added.

Sadiq Khan after his win was confirmed at City Hall REUTERS/Toby Melville.
Sadiq Khan after his win was confirmed at City Hall REUTERS/Toby Melville.

Khan praised to keep London fracking-free and green TfL by launching a feasibility study for the reduction of energy consumption on the public transport network, and commission research into the possibility of generating electricity from ‘wasted heat’ on the Tube.

In stark contrast to the newly elected Mayor’s policy, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd, a Conservative, focused her vision for the UK energy on developing new nuclear, gas, fracking and offshore wind and tidal power.

Last year Mark Group, solar-panel installer went into administration, costing 1,000 jobs with Climate Energy following suit only two days later. Solar Trade Association predicts that dozens of firms and further 27,000 jobs across the country are in danger as a direct result of Tories energy policy.

Last year in their Manifesto UK Green Party said no to nuclear and fracking and proposed to invest £45 billion over the course of the Parliament be delivered by local authorities and create well over 100,000 jobs. It will become part of a new Green National Infrastructure programme.

Green Party candidate Sian Berry, whose plan to tackle London’s air pollution has been rated 10/10 by the Clean Air in London campaign, came third with 150 673 votes. Green Party opts for both large-scale generation and small- and medium-scale renewable generation schemes (aiming for 42 GW of offshore wind by 2020 and 60 GW by 2030, and for 25 GW of solar PV by 2020) funded through local authorities and pledges to give the Green Investment Bank full borrowing powers to help fund investments. As expected Greens want to ban all fracking and phase out nuclear and fossil-fuel-based generation in the UK.

The 25 candidates who have been elected as London Assembly Members for the next four years have also now been announced by the Greater London Returning Officer. Out of 25 seats in total in London Assembly Labours took 12, Conservatives 8 and Greens 2, the same as openly anti-renewable UKIP.

The London Assembly is a unique form of government set up in 2000. It is working with London’s councils, central government and many other parties. Policing, transport, housing, planning and the environment are the areas of London life that are affected by the work of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. Before finalising his or her major strategies the Mayor must consult with Londoners and their elected representatives on the London Assembly.

Many challenges lie ahead for Mr Khan’s and his energy policy, close in tone to the Green Party Manifesto, will now be tested against the strong opposition of the Conservatives and UKIP.

By Derek Michalski, Editor-in-Chief, The Voice of Renewables

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