Sadiq Khan calls out COP26’s national governments for being “delayers” rather than “doers” when it comes to the climate crisis.
Speaking at the Regions and Built Environment Day, the Mayor of London argued that governments need to give cities around the world the power and funding to meet the ambitious targets of net zero by 2030. This will in turn help deliver national targets too.
Khan said that the biggest obstacle to reducing carbon emissions isn’t the climate change deniers, but inaction at a national level.
He flagged “delaying tactics” across government, where policy is not being made fast enough; the overarching message being that countries need to put money where their mouth is by implementing plans and funding as soon as possible.
Khan met with other international mayors in Glasgow today, as well as the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, to discuss the critical role of cities in driving down emissions.
Richard Burge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said in response to the London Mayor’s speech today at COP26: “We wholeheartedly agree with the Mayor of London’s praise of cities as nimble, progressive and agile during his speech at COP26 this afternoon and share his ambitions to make London the greenest city in the world. However, we question his attack on national governments at a summit that is supposed to bring people together and be built upon collaboration. It is true that cities do have an inherent agility when compared to national governments, but a narrative centred on blame is unhelpful.”
“Ultimately, city leaders need to generate the necessary support from their national governments for the autonomy to make city-level changes that will help deliver on net-zero ambitions sooner. We would encourage more co-operation between national and municipal governments where the latter is granted the opportunity and autonomy to unleash their agility and innovation to propel whole countries towards achieving net-zero.”