Back from his unbuttoned jacket controversy and shoddy flag waving efforts at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing, London Mayor Boris Johnson has published a climate change report warning that London isn’t prepared to cope with the predicted effects of global warming, including increased floods, droughts and heatwaves.
The key findings of the report – which are, frankly, a bit of a statement of the obvious at time – include:
As the climate changes, London will experience warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers, whilst ‘extreme’ weather events such as heat waves and tidal surges will become more frequent and intense.
Londoners will face an increased risk of floods, droughts and heatwaves that will endanger the prosperity of the city and the quality of life for all Londoners, but especially the most vulnerable in the city.
The strategy proposes ‘greening’ the city by improving and increasing London’s greenspaces to keep the city cool in summer, managing flood risk coming from the tributaries to the Thames and surface water flooding from heavy rainfall, encouraging Londoners to use less water and raising public awareness to flood risk.
London is well placed to help the world adapt to climate change: it has the skills and services to prepare for the predicted changes, and there is a clear economic opportunity to capitalise on this leading position.
Johnson said in a statement:
“We need to concentrate efforts to slash carbon emissions and become more energy efficient in order to prevent dangerous climate change. But we also need to prepare for how our climate is expected to change in the future.
“The strategy I am launching today outlines in detail the range of weather conditions facing London, which could both seriously threaten our quality of life – particularly that of the most vulnerable people – and endanger our pre-eminence as one of the world’s leading cities.”
But, speaking to the BBC, Green Party London Assembly member Jenny Jones said the measures contained “nothing new” and were “inadequate”.
The draft report on London’s Climate Change Adapation Strategy is here. The document is open for consultation, with a final version due sometime next year.