Climate change and weather

Assembly calls on Mayor to prioritise ‘climate emergency’

02 December 2015

The London Assembly today urged the Mayor to get serious about climate change.

Assembly Members agreed a motion which calls on the Mayor to protect climate change programmes in his 2016-17 budget; urge fellow city leaders at the C40 meetings in Paris to adopt measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and make the ‘climate emergency’ a top priority for his remaining time in office.

Jenny Jones AM, who proposed the motion said:

“With a strong climate deal in Paris, and much more action at home, London could face a bright future with green energy, jobs and transport. But to get there the Mayor needs to realise that we face a climate emergency and make this his top priority. The damage to our economy and society if he fails will make the recent financial and refugee crises look like a tea party in comparison.”

The full text of the Motion is:

“This Assembly notes: recent research suggesting that “profound and immediate changes” are now required to keep average global warming below the guardrail of 2°C and that global greenhouse gas emissions must peak as soon as possible and be falling by 10 per cent a year within the next decade[1]

  • analysis of the draft Paris agreement by the European Commission which suggests that, with the pledges from nations so far, global emissions won’t peak until 2030[2], and further analysis suggesting that on the basis of these pledges we will still experience global average warming of 2.7°C of warming by 2100, compared to warming of 3.7°C based on the full implementation of existing government policies[3]
  • reporting by the Government’s Committee on Climate Change that UK emissions were only falling by an underlying rate of 1 per cent per year, when at least 3 per cent annual reductions are required to meet the its current policy commitments[4]
  • the £9.6 billion of UK government subsidies given annually to fossil fuel extraction in the UK and overseas, equivalent to £350 per household, which the March 2015 budget further increased while reducing support for renewable energy[5], while the Energy Secretary has admitted the UK government will miss its legally binding renewable energy target for 2020 due to “the absence of a credible plan”[6].

This Assembly calls on the Mayor of London to:

  • protect climate change programmes in his 2016-17 budget, including the safeguarding of the London Climate Change Partnership following funding cuts from the Environment Agency;
  • urge fellow city leaders at the C40 meetings in Paris to adopt the strongest possible measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • make this climate emergency a top priority for his remaining time in office, particularly when lobbying the government.”

Notes to editors

  1. Anderson, K in Nature Geoscience (12 October 2015), Duality in climate science
  2. https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/current-climate-commitments-would-increase-global-temperature-around-3-degrees
  3. Carbon Tracker initiative, http://climateactiontracker.org/global.html
  4. https://www.theccc.org.uk/tackling-climate-change/reducing-carbon-emissions/how-the-uk-is-progressing/
  5. Overseas Development Institute (November 2015), Empty promises: G20 subsidies to oil, gas and coal production, http://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/9957.pdf
  6. The Ecologist (9 November 2015), Leaked letter: Rudd admits 25% green energy undershoot, misled Parliament, http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2986190/leaked_letter_rudd_admits_25_green_energy_undershoot_misled_ parliament.html
  7. The motion was agreed by 12 votes for, 5 against.
  8. The full webcast will be available shortly.
  9. Jenny Jones AM who proposed the motion is available for interviews. Please see contact details below. 
  10. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan on 020 7983 4603.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.