Wednesday 27 April 2016

FoE's assesment of London Mayoral candidates' environmental policies

From Friends of the Earth (as this come from a politically neutral group it is unedited):

Friends of the Earth's assessment of the environmental policies of the candidates for London mayor
This mayoral election has been a race to the top on environmental issues, with candidates vying with each other to show that they have the greenest policies to improve Londoners’ lives.

Overall, our assessment shows that whoever is the next mayor, Londoners will benefit from greener policies than those of central government, which has torn up initiatives, from insulating cold homes to supporting solar energy.

All of the main candidates have signed up to policies including protecting the Green Belt, opposing Heathrow, and building high-quality, zero-carbon homes.

But on the critical issue of air pollution, the 2 frontrunners still need to toughen their plans if Londoners are to be protected from one of the biggest threats to our health.

The final scores

Our scoring of London mayoral candidates, showing Sian Berry and Caroline Pidgeon coming out on top, and Sadiq Khan narrowly beating Zac Goldsmith.

We’ve also published a full breakdown of how we scored each candidate on each issue [pdf].

Our 10 policy tests

Friends of the Earth asked the main mayoral candidates to tell us where they stood on 10 key policies  which our supporters ranked as the important tests of whether the next mayor will protect London’s environment.
Our aim has been for the candidates to make clear pledges to implement these policies.

Our analysis

Sian Berry (Green Party) and Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrat Party) are the joint greenest candidates, with each committing to deliver all of our 10 key policies.

Sadiq Khan (Labour Party) and Zac Goldsmith (Conservative Party) are almost neck-and-neck on scores with Sadiq inching ahead by half a point.

Sadiq has committed fully to deliver more of the key green policies needed to protect the environment and Londoners’ health and economy, while Zac falls short in more areas.
All of the main candidates have signed up to strong policy on key issues which matter to our supporters, including powering London with clean energy, ensuring new homes are built to good standards; and protecting our green spaces.

However, Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith still need to tighten their policies in some areas, including, crucially, cleaning up London’s dirty air.

How did the candidates fare?

Sian Berry has scored a well-earned 10/10, with great policy on every single one of our top issues.
In particular, her air pollution policies are excellent, including a pledge to convert the entire bus fleet to electric or hybrid vehicles by 2020, and to bring London’s air pollution down to legal levels by 2020 - 5 years earlier than current government plans.

Caroline Pidgeon also scores 10/10, having committed to delivering all of our key policies.
Her cycling policies are particularly good, and she was the first candidate to support the London Cycling Campaign’s Sign for Cycling policies.

However, on some issues, a little more detail on how she plans to deliver would be welcome.
Sadiq Khan, scoring a respectable 8/10, has some very good policies on issues such as renewables, divestment, stopping fracking, and reviewing the London Plan in the light of the Paris climate agreement.

However, Sadiq’s strong support for a new runway at Gatwick is a significant weak point in his environmental policies.

In addition, his unwillingness so far to tackle cold homes by introducing minimum energy efficiency standards in private rented housing, and his lack of sufficient commitment to dealing with the air pollution which blights Londoners’ lives, have let him down. 

Zac Goldsmith, with 7.4/10, also has some very good policies on protecting nature, renewables, and keeping strong energy efficiency standards for new-build homes.

We particularly welcomed his recent promise to follow the other main candidates in supporting the divestment of the London Pension Fund Authority from fossil fuels, although he has not committed - as others have - actively to call for its divestment (a difference we think is important).

Zac’s promise only to back the purchase of clean buses is potentially very strong, but without clarification of the start date for this - which we did ask for - we can’t give him extra points for it.
In addition, his unwillingness to come out strongly against any new airport capacity in London, and his lack of commitment to strengthening the London Plan to ensure the city is a leader in tackling climate change, let him down.

Who does Friends of the Earth want to win?

Friends of the Earth is party politically impartial - we do not support any candidate. Our aim for the mayoral elections has been to ensure that all candidates have strong policies on the environment.
Our scoring reflects our assessment of each candidate’s policies on environmental criteria, and does not represent an endorsement of any candidate.

No comments: