For the first time, this strategy brings together approaches to every aspect of London’s environment, kick starting action that will improve the city’s environment right away, while taking the most ambitious view of what is possible in the future. It makes new connections between the environment and the rest of life in London. Recognising that the environment has a big influence on the quality of Londoners’ lives, it has people and their experience of living, working and spending time in the city at its heart.
By 2050, London is expected to be home to 11.1 million people, compared to around 8.7 million people today. The city’s population and economic growth will pose environmental challenges, but with new thinking and careful planning they can also provide the solution to many of the threats the city now faces. Realising the Mayor’s vision for environmentally good growth – growth that allows London to remain resilient to the changing climate and is green and healthy – will entail building environmental improvements into every aspect of London’s development.
The Mayor wants London to be the world’s greenest global city. This will mean making it:
Greener: All Londoners should be able to enjoy the very best parks, trees and wildlife. Creating a greener city is good for everyone – it will improve people’s health and quality of life, support the success of businesses and attract more visitors to London.
Action will be taken now to plant more trees, make green spaces more accessible, and ensure more green roofs and green features are designed into new developments. Local authorities and community groups will be supported to manage and value London’s parks and biodiversity better. This will help to make sure that more than half of London is green by 2050.
Cleaner: Londoners want their city to be clean, attractive and healthy – living in a big city does not mean they should accept a dirty and polluted environment. The Mayor will clean up London’s air, water and energy in a way that is fair, protects the health of Londoners, and contributes to the fight against climate change.
Action will be taken now to introduce less polluting buses, deter the most polluting vehicles from being driven in London, and clean up the air around schools and new developments. The rollout of sustainable drainage systems and improvements to the sewerage network will help keep the city’s rivers clean. The Mayor’s new Energy for Londoners programme will help Londoners and businesses to generate more renewable energy. This will help London’s buildings to be powered more cleanly, its entire transport system to become zero emission, and for London to be a zero carbon city by 2050.
Ready for the future: Water, energy and raw materials for the products we consume will be less readily available in the future, and climate change will mean higher temperatures, more intense rainfall and water shortages. The Mayor will make sure the city does not waste valuable resources, is prepared for the future and is safeguarded for future generations.
Action will be taken now to plan for new flood defences and a new water resource for London, as well as to help transport, water and other infrastructure providers better prepare for the changing climate.
New smart meters will be rolled out to help Londoners use less energy and water, higher recycling standards will cut waste, and Londoners will be helped to use less packaging. This will help London send zero waste to landfill by 2026 and recycle 65 per cent of its waste by 2030.
The London Environment Strategy sets out bold policies and proposals in six policy areas and the transition to a low carbon circular economy to make this vision a reality. It provides, for the first time, an integrated framework for all the people and organisations whose actions, activities and policies have an impact on London’s environment.