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currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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March 05, 2007 || 9:43 am
London's Climate Change Action Plan

[Also something that I put up on DN.]

Last week, Ken launched his Climate Change Action Plan for London. Let's be clear right now, the 60% CO2 reduction by 2025 that has been widely quoted as the "target" is not, in this plan, put forward as an achievable figure without significant nationally implemented change. It is simply the milestone for what London would need to do, in order to reach a Contraction and Convergence-based quota of emissions. He's aiming for a still ambitious figure of 30% through London-only measures.

I still think it is a good plan and have written about it here on WC but, because of this issue about what is realistic to achieve, has also been causing some strong feelings elsewhere in blog-world. I appreciate these sentiments but fundamentally, I think Ken is doing the right thing. Plans like this need to be ambitious - what would the point be of a target that was only what was unambiguously, conservatively achievable? A challenge and a high bar needs to be set up in order to spur both individuals and businesses on and to make the policital case for tougher measures, more funding and tighter controls. It shows us all how small change isn't going to make big things happen. I know Ken is also self-serving in placing environmentalism at the heart of his political platform while not guaranteeing much, but I think it is also smart to challenge others to join him in making it happen, rather than guaranteeing something that either can't be met, or will come across as unambitious and tokenist.

Put more briefly, I can't think of a better way to tackle the issue given the limited powers Ken has. And I think that it behoves all of us who do take this issue seriously to band together around initiatives like this that do have integrity, rather than to shoot them down.

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