A bright future of London: the abolition of private vehicles; the prohibition of meat and dairy consumption; the rationing of new items of clothing to three each per year; and the restriction of short-haul return flights to one every three years!
London ‘The Telegraph’ proposes to ‘picture the scene’: You have just made it through the door from work, although not by car because private vehicles no longer exist. You change out of your work clothes into something more comfortable, perhaps one of three new items of clothing you are allowed to buy every year.
Then it is downstairs for dinner, since all this virtue is hungry work. But don’t forget that meat and dairy are off the menu, so instead you might like to daydream about getting away from it all – only to remember that you used up your quota of one short-haul return flight every three years last summer.
This is the radical vision of a net zero future dreamed up by C40, a global collective of city mayors chaired by Sadiq Khan, which advocates extreme measures to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and limit global temperature increases to 1.5C.
Khan is showing no signs of slowing down: this week, plans were unveiled to lower the speed limit to 20mph on a further 40 miles of roads in London, the capital’s largest-ever rollout to date.
Since December 2021, he has led C40, which is made up of the mayors of 96 cities from six different continents. It spends its time conducting research, holding conferences and drawing up “climate action plans” and was originally founded by the then-Labour mayor of London Ken Livingstone in 2005.
Its more radical suggestions involved no less than: the abolition of private vehicles; the prohibition of meat and dairy consumption; the rationing of new items of clothing to three each per year; and the restriction of short-haul return flights to one every three years.
It also proposed slashing the use of steel and cement in construction and significantly increasing the proportion of buildings made from wood, disregarding the major restrictions this would place on attempts to solve the housing crisis by building more homes.
Flights and taxis can only be justified in “exceptional circumstances”, additional time off in lieu is given to staff who are forced to travel long distances by train instead, and conferences and events should aim to only provide vegetarian and vegan catering.
C40 declined to comment on these policies.
For Andrew Montford, director of Net Zero Watch, it is “divorced from reason”, and Graham Stringer, the Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton, holds that its policies would disproportionately affect the poorest in society.
“Fresh from imposing misery on motorists through his draconian Ulez expansion, Sadiq Khan appears to be conspiring new ways to make people’s lives miserable,” says Craig Mackinlay, the Tory MP who chairs the net zero scrutiny group in parliament.
“I’ve really had enough of this authoritarian, miserabilist approach to net zero. What we need is for technology and innovation to allow people to become more prosperous and greener at the same time; not poorer, colder and hungrier.”
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London, said: “Sadiq has set an ambitious target for London to reach net zero by 2030, and London is leading the way by insulating homes, electrifying our bus and taxi fleets, and expanding electric vehicle infrastructure to the extent that our capital has the most public rapid charging points of any European city.”
… Yes, with such a policy there will be a complete Zero.
read more in our Telegram-channel https://t.me/The_International_Affairs