London mayor Sadiq Khan has moved closer to running Britain’s biggest urban transport network on carbon-free wind, solar and hydro electricity, instructing Transport for London to seek renewables-only bids to supply around 10 per cent of its power.
Speaking at the start of London Climate Action Week, Mayor Khan unveiled his energy sourcing plan, a step towards his goal of the capital reaching net-zero carbon by 2030.
Serving as mayor of the biggest conurbation in the international C40 Climate Leadership Group of green cities, Kahn also committed Britain’s capital to signing the Fossil-Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Drawing 1.6 TWh a year, – consumption equal to 12 per cent of London’s 420,000 homes – the Tube is thought to be the capital’s biggest single industrial consumer of electricity.
Running till 2030, Khan’s first clean power tender covers only 10 per of cent that required supply, specifying it must come from renewable sources and new build assets. But the Mayor believes other clean PPAs must follow.
With passenger levels still 25% below pre-Covid levels, Transport for London is financially stretched.
Oil and gas sourcing 86% of world carbon emissions since 2012
In February Khan welcomed a £200 million payment from Whitehall to keep the bus and train network running for four months. The Tube is currently subject to periodic strikes in sympathy with Britain’s rail workers.
“When it comes to tackling air pollution and the climate emergency, I’m determined to ensure that London continues to take bold action,” said Khan.
“As many national governments around world dither, cities have a responsibility to act and to show what’s possible. We are the doers, not the delayers”.
The Fossil-Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty was initiated in 2015 by leaders of flood-threatened Pacific islands. Endorsed by the Dalai Lama and Nobel laureates, the treaty seeks to prevent all new exploration of oil and gas resources.
Signing the accord on behalf of Londoners, Khan pointed to latest reports from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, stating coal, oil and gas are responsible for 86 per cent of all CO2 emissions in the past decade. The world is on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas by 2030.
The Mayor has taken steps to pull the pension pots of 32 boroughs, TFL workers and City Hall employees out of fossil fuel companies, urging the arms-length London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) shun investments in the hydrocarbon sector.
With New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Khan chairs the C40 Divestment/Investment network. It includes 18 C40 cities, with pension funds worth over $400 billion now committed to divestment.