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London must take lead in tackling climate change

Leading engineers and climate change experts have claimed that cities hold the key to tackling climate change in the long-term, and have called for London to rise to the challenge.

Speaking at the London Sustainability debate, organised by ICE London and The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), was Arup director Peter Head, London Development Agency director of projects Martin Powell, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research deputy director and professor of earth system engineering Jim Hall and Tyndall Centre director and professor of Energy and Climate Change Kevin Anderson.

The panellists concluded that, post-Copenhagen, the emphasis is once again on cities and citizenship as the focal point for action.

“Communities need a vision, and engineers need to find low carbon solutions.”

Martin Powell, London Development Agency

They agreed that taking a strong lead in climate change mitigation will have significant benefits for London’s long-term prosperity. “There is no future for cities reliant on fossil fuels,” said Head. “We can drive the economy and go in the right direction.”

He was supported by Powell, who said billions of pounds will be invested by the London mayor Boris Johnson to enable London to meet its CO2 emissions reduction target of 60% by 2025.

“We will certainly see returns on this investment,” he agreed. Head concluded by saying that engineers will have a vital role to play in helping London achieve a low carbon economy in future. “Communities need a vision, and engineers need to find low carbon solutions.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Katja Leyendecker

    Two very different models are currently used to describe the environment and the economy. The environmental sector focusses on sustainability, whereas the economy is (still) driven by the notion of endless resources and continued growth.

    Will be interesting to see that clash resolved. It’s our economical system which is inherently unsustainable.

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