Monday, April 19News For London

Climate Change: how is London dealing with it?

‘We are the last generation that can stop climate change’- UN Summit

The world’s leaders have gathered for a Conference of Parties (CoP) to hold talks on measures to combat climate change at Katowice, Poland on 3 December 2018.

With the recent wildfires at California and floods in Asia and Africa, the debate for climate change has intensified and has brought into attention over Donald Trump withdrawing his country from the International Paris Climate Agreement which is crucial to efforts in combating this change.

There has, however, been backlash over the conference being held at Poland, a coal-friendly country.

Recognising the much-needed efforts that are required by governments, the World Bank has announced that they intend to double their funding to £200 billion for developing countries who seek to reduce emissions and make firm investments to use clean energy.

Kristalina Georgieva, the CEO of the World Bank, during the conference said: “We are clearly the last generation that can change the course of climate change, but we are also the first generation with its consequences.”

Extinction Rebellion, a group of environmentalist activists in London staged a rally demanding further action by the government for environmental change.

“We represent a huge number of concerned citizens – scientists, academics, politicians, teachers, lawyers, students, children, parents, and grandparents,” said organiser Tiana Jacout about the rally.

Source: Financial Times

In the UK, the urban areas are hugely affected by poor air quality but London remains the most-affected. It has breached the illegal air pollution limit to the extent where the government has been sued by the High Court and urged to improve their action plan to be beneficial to the citizens’ health.

According to a study by King’s College London, over 9000 Londoners die early as a result of the toxic air quality.

This is in stark contrast to the Mayor’s plan to make London one of the greenest global cities by 2050 and to accomplish a rather ambitious goal of making London a zero-carbon city.

There has been measures adopted by the Mayor that has proven to be beneficial to Londoners such as a toxicity charge, protecting schools from pollution, pulling diesel buses off London streets as well as commissioning zero-emission taxis to be in use.

It should be noted that the British Lung Foundation has published data showing the increase of lung disease in London and that individuals are twice likely to die from lung problems in deprived areas in comparison to affluent locations.

Londoners, thus, have a huge role to combat the pollution and how will it be achieved remains to be seen.