London’s mayor Sadiq Khan says he considers bringing the planned Zero Emission Zones (ZEZ) in the British capital forward from 2025 to 2020. This acceleration is down to local businesses and authorities that want to speed up adoption of electric vehicles.
London’s councils and businesses had turned to Mayor Khan asking for an acceleration of the introduction of said Zero Emission Zones. These are areas of the British capital were no fossil fuel powered vehicles may enter.
The call to move the ZEZ forward followed a consultation that had been running since last August. The ZEZ form part of Sadiq Khan’s London Environment Plan that reaches as far as 2050. The aim is for the former “Big Smoke” to turn into a zero-carbon city and at least 50 per cent green by 2050.
In anticipation, car free days are being considered as well and could be introduced in certain boroughs before the year’s end with the potential for city-wide car-free days in 2019. East London boroughs already decided to introduced similar zones across certain streets during rush hour this year (we reported).
Also from 2019 all new double-decker buses will be hybrid and all single-deck buses will emit zero exhaust emissions by 2020. By 2037 at the latest, all 9,200 buses across London will be electric, too.
The strategy includes other measures to tackle air pollution in London as well, including air quality concentration maps. London is expected to be legally compliant with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) limits by 2025 but the city aims to achieve legal limits sooner and adopt tighter World Health Organization recommended air quality guidelines.
Other ambitions include the installation of solar capacity, 1GW by 2030 and 2GW by 2050 as well as so-called carbon budgets aiming to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses. They aim for a 40 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions from 1990 levels in 2018-2022, which is a greater reduction than that set by Government and compliant with the Paris climate agreement.
The final draft of the Environment Strategy has now been presented to the London Assembly for consideration before publication in the coming weeks. To implement most measures, the capital is calling on the British government for support.