Ban Private Cars in London)
On 11th December 2018, Sadiq Khan declared a Climate Emergency in London. A week later he published the 1.5C Compatible Action Plan.
Additionally, on January 12th 2019, in light of the IPCC report, the Mayor updated London’s commitment to being a zero carbon city from 2050 down to 2030 . This sets a far tighter trajectory and we must all revise ambitions and strategy significantly, to match this new reality.
Reducing energy demand and embedded carbon in new infrastructure will mean tough choices have to be made
- Cancelling Silvertown Tunnel and Crossrail 2 seem inevitable
- Efficient walking and cycling networks replacing some buses
- New Buses only pure electric
- Pedicabs and pedalmeapp replacing motorised Taxis and Cabs
- Remaining Taxis / cabs only pure electric
- Extending Congestion Charge hours to 24/7. Removing all exemptions. Raising price of charge.
- Tightening ULEZ to include all fossil fuel vehicles and extending across Greater London as quickly as possible.
- Removing all street car parking from Central London and town centres
- Data needs to be made more efficient and targeted. Low energy tech supercedes high energy data proliferation and ‘smart’ tech.
Transport for London Energy use
According to a recent article in Wired, dated 30th November 2018
Transport for London uses more electricity than anything else in the city. The Underground and Overground rail networks alone consume an astonishing 1.2 terawatt-hours each year, enough to power around 360,000 homes. Then there are buses, trams and an array of other infrastructure.
The TFL Health, Safety and Environment report 2016/17 says:
Electricity use in 2016/17 fell by 1.56 per cent to 1.69 terawatt hours. Within this overall result, there was an increase from running NightTube and more frequent services and a reduction from efficient street lighting.
Total CO2 emissions associated with our activities was 2.08 million tonnes compared with 2.17 million tonnes in 2015/16 – a 4.1 per cent decrease. The main factor has been the reduction in carbon intensity of our electricity supply from National Grid. Continued improvements in the energy efficiency of transport infrastructure and the carbon intensity of the grid are vital to reaching the Mayor’s long term goal of a zero carbon city.
Professor Tim Green and colleagues at Imperial have been advocates of the idea of trackside solar, and published a report, Riding Sunbeams, which found that solar arrays could meet up to six per cent of the Underground’s energy demands.
London’s rooftops, both commercial and domestic, are also a very underused resource. Solar pinned to every viable roof in London would not only supply localised domestic and commercial needs but could supply some of the transport needs too?
The annual road transport emissions for the Greater London Area (GLA) are projected to be 5,728,930t CO2 in 2030, (London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory 201330 data). According to Donnachadh McCarthy (Eco-auditor) that is about 1.4% of all UK current emissions . However in 2030 it would represent a far higher percentage of the total UK emissions, as other sectors are cut. Road transport in Greater London is seriously inhibiting our ability to reduce UK greenhouse emissions.
The ambition of 80% of all personal journeys by walking, cycling and public transport will need to come much sooner, possibly by 2025?