London Mayor to ‘double down not back down’ on green agenda despite criticism

London’s mayor Sadiq Khan says now is the time “not to back down but to double down” on his green agenda, despite opponents saying he is using it as a political weapon.

Khan, who recently won a third term as London Mayor, made the comments at a conference organised by the Vatican in Rome.

Khan was among several mayors from the C40 group of world cities, of which he is co-chairman, who met Pope Francis to talk about their efforts to combat climate change

In comments reported by the BBC, Khan said: “This is a moment which demands the courage to take decisions, meet responsibilities and find a way.”

He also said the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) scheme was “one of the most effective environmental interventions anywhere in the world”.

“It’s also proved to be the toughest challenge I’ve faced in the 30 years I’ve held public office,” he said.

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Amid criticism of the extension of the scheme, he said: “What I did not foresee was the scale of political resistance.!

“This included a highly sophisticated, well-funded online misinformation campaign; a group of municipal councils challenging the expansion in our High Court; and the national government abandoning key climate policies, pushing its net zero target even further from reach.”

But the Tory party chairman accused the Mayor of “politicising” the climate debate to hide his failings.

Richard Holden said he didn’t want to see the climate “used as a political weapon”.

“I understand why Sadiq Khan would like to do that, to distract from failings on policing and housing and other areas. He should be listening to all Londoners and representing them all and reflecting their priorities.”

The Greens said the mayor’s “cowardly” election campaign set back progress, but Greenpeace have said the London Mayor is “leading the way” on environmental issues.

Climate crisisNature and the environmentNet zeroNews

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