London Calling: City Wants to be World’s Greenest by 2012

by | May 18, 2009

london-bus2With the 2012 Olympics as a backdrop, London is setting the stage to become the world’s “greenest” city by 2012.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the city will use the Olympics “to drive the greening and the improvement” of the city.

London has committed to reduce carbon emissions 60 percent by 2025.

Johnson said domestic and commercial buildings, which account for 70 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in London, must be retrofitted, according to this news report.

Johnson, a self-proclaimed “passionate cyclist,” said he wants to create cycle super-highways around the city.

He said that talks this week in Seoul, at the C40 Large Cities Climate Summit, provide an opportunity to spread the notion of electrical vehicles for municipal fleets. “That’s one of the things we are hoping to achieve in Seoul,” he said. Mayors from 80 cities in 41 countries, including Tokyo, Toronto, Sydney, Jakarta and Sao Paulo, are attending the Korean summit.

In London, replacing 8,300 antiquated diesel buses with low-carbon vehicles could go a long way to achieving the city’s carbon targets, he said, adding that the city’s 32,000 taxis running on diesel fuel could be supplanted by electric vehicles.

In the next few years, London will embark on a proect to produce a “cleaner, greener” bus, Johnson said.

Four of five U.S. cities call sustainability a priority, according to a Green Cities report that provides an assessment of how cities in the United States are trying to limit their carbon footprint, and identifies areas where environmental efforts lag. The report shows that cities have not waited for federal or state governments to initiate green policies that help combat climate change.

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