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Livingstone slams flawed city climate change forecasts


ALL CLIMATE change predictions for cities are flawed because they rely on criteria applied to rural areas, London Mayor Ken Livingstone said last week.

He said he had commissioned his own investigation into the true effects of global warming on the capital.

'It's not just London: no city has climate change figures other than those based on them being a rural area.

'The difference in heat inside and outside London ranges between four and nine degrees at different times of the day, ' he said.

Livingstone said this factor, exposed in his Adapting to climate change report published last week, was likely to shape his future housing policy, the consultation for which was another of the reports the London Mayor made public.

He said he would consider introducing a requirement that all new homes be capable of absorbing heat in the summer and releasing it in winter, to maximise energy efficiency.

Adapting to climate change describes central London as an urban heat island that can cause summer night time temperatures to be high enough to cause health problems.

Increased building costs incurred by improving the heat retention and release capabilities of new homes should be balanced out by lower use of airconditioning in summer and central heating in winter, he said.

Plans for swathes of east London to be designated parks and green spaces were also revealed by Livingstone in a second document The east London green grid primer.

It promotes the use of open green space in tandem with the massive redevelopment of the Thames Gateway, east of London.

But the document falls short of calls from architect Sir Terry Farrell for a National Park in the Thames Gateway.

Thames Gateway chief executive Judith Armitt said a national park would restrict construction, while plans like the Green Grid would enhance it.

The green grid - a network of green spaces - is also intended to provide for much needed fl ood alleviation plans for east London, much of which lies on the Thames' fl ood plain.

Environment Agency chief executive Barbara Young warned that the green grid would only accommodate flooding from rivers feeding into the River Thames.

Ways to tackle tidal flooding from the Thames will only be addressed once the Agency publishes its 100-year flood strategy in 2009, she said.

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