London bids to be world's greenest by 2012: mayor

May 18, 2009
Mayor Boris Johnson, seen here, outlined plans to make London "the cleanest, greenest city on earth" by the 2012 Olympics and called for commitments from other world cities at a climate change conference

Mayor Boris Johnson outlined plans to make London "the cleanest, greenest city on earth" by the 2012 Olympics and called for commitments from other world cities at a climate change conference.

Leaders of the world's 40 largest cities, plus 17 affiliate municipalities, are meeting in Seoul this week for a summit on combating global warming -- the third to be held since 2005.

"What we should do in Seoul is agree that we will stop the endless addiction of mankind to the internal combustion engine," said Johnson.

He told a press conference the world's cities consume 75 percent of its energy and produce 80 percent of the emissions which cause .

"The problem of our planet is an urban problem," Johnson said, calling for "serious results" in Seoul.

"I don't want to walk away with a communique which contains nothing but warm words and hot air... it's important we agree some specific measures."

He said the British capital wants to use the Olympics "to drive the greening and the improvement of our city" and noted that is committed to reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2025.

Johnson said the key measure was addressing the problems relating to domestic and commercial buildings, which accounted for 70 percent of in London.

This involved retrofitting -- installing lagging -- in large numbers of public buildings.

Johnson proclaimed himself a "passionate cyclist" and said he would push ahead with cycle super-highways around London.

He also called for "real progress" by cities worldwide towards the electrification of municipal fleets and other vehicles. "That's one of the things we are hoping to achieve in Seoul."

London's problem, he said, was caused by from 8,300 antiquated diesel buses which could be replaced by low-carbon vehicles.

There were also 32,000 taxis running on diesel fuel which could be replaced by .

Johnson said there would be a substantial programme in the next few years to produce a "cleaner, greener" bus for his city. "The age of the diesel-emitting bus has got to be over in London."

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: U.S. EPA proposes toxic emission cuts

Related Stories

EPA enters partnership with BorgWarner

April 18, 2006

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it has formed a partnership with BorgWarner to develop cleaner, more fuel efficient engines and vehicles.

Hybrid Bus in the City: A Prototype with a Future

August 20, 2007

Nuremberg’s public transport system has become more "electrified" thanks to a diesel-electric hybrid bus developed by MAN. The vehicle is equipped with drive-system technology from Siemens.

Don't blame cities for climate change, see them as solutions

September 26, 2008

Cities are being unfairly blamed for most of humanity's greenhouse gas emissions and this threatens efforts to tackle climate change, warns a study in the October 2008 issue of the journal Environment and Urbanization.

Reducing CO2 through technology and smart growth

February 11, 2009

A Georgia Tech City and Regional Planning study on climate change, published February 10, 2009 online by Environmental Science and Technology, shows that "smart growth" combined with the use of hybrid vehicle technology could ...

Recommended for you

A cataclysmic event of a certain age

July 27, 2015

At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago—give or take a few centuries—a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas.

Researchers find reasons behind increases in urban flooding

July 27, 2015

Scientists at the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science investigating the increasing risk of 'compound flooding' for major U.S. cities have found that flooding risk is greatest for cities along the Atlantic ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.