Expert Voices: Matthew Pencharz, Senior Advisor to the Mayor of London on Environment and Energy – “taking climate action can boost London’s economy”

A recent report by business and economic leaders had a clear message that taking climate action can help, not hinder economic growth.

That’s been the Mayor of London’s approach. He understands that taking action to reduce carbon emissions is about growing the economy and making it more sustainable. It’s about making our cities more resource efficient, more competitive and attracting the inward investment needed to provide economic development for our growing population.

So, we’re very proud that London’s pragmatic and effective approach to taking climate action was recognised at the prestigious C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards in New York last week.

London won two awards. The first was for creating a way to measure the city’s total carbon emissions – not just what we produce through power and heating but also through the goods and services we consume. This award recognises London’s thought leadership in this field. It shows our potential for greater economic efficiency and has created exportable know-how.

The second award was in the air quality category for the Mayor’s new taxi for London project. He has already announced that all newly licensed taxis will be zero emission capable by 2018. We are now looking at ways the zero emission mode can be switched on dynamically in the areas of London where there is the greatest air quality challenge and human exposure. Not only will this improve our air quality, it will also reduce carbon emissions, save money for London’s cabbies and help grow the new market in ultra-low emission vehicles.

The world market in low carbon goods and services is worth £3.4 trillion. We want London to grab as much of that opportunity as possible. Our city is already home to the best architects, engineers, project managers, finance and insurance companies. We’re doing all we can at City Hall to encourage and help British companies meet the challenge London and the world faces. We want London to become the world’s one-stop shop for climate services.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the Greater London Authority website, and has been reproduced here with permission