The London Assembly Environment Committee has launched a new report namely, Growing, growing, gone – Long-term sustainable growth for London.
The report recommends putting long-term sustainability at the heart of Mayoral strategies and that London should work towards standardised domestic waste.
The key challenges to accommodate London’s growth is highlighted in the report, it stated that:
“Without good planning, London could suffer unreliable energy supplies and excessive carbon emissions; a shortage of drinkable water; contaminated flooding caused by sewage overflow and habitat destruction resulting in fewer green spaces for Londoners.”
On the economic opportunities from a circular economy, the report claimed that London currently recycles 33 percent of its waste and that:
“A circular economy involving greater waste reduction; re-use and shared use; repair and remanufacture; would provide a major economic opportunity for London, offering billions of pounds worth of business and tens of thousands of jobs.”
It also highlights another key challenge for London, described as “the failure of too many London boroughs in not providing separate food waste collection and their poor recycling records. This has resulted in London’s recycling rate flat-lining at 33 percent and well short of the 2015 target of 45 percent.”
“[London] should oversee the development of a route map to standardised municipal waste collections by all London boroughs,” it states, adding that “efficient bulk recycling requires well separated waste streams of consistent quality and large scale… standardised waste collection across London could deliver this.”
Environment Committee Chair, Darren Johnson AM, said:
“London is already home to over 8.6 million people. With the equivalent of two cities the size of Manchester due to be added by 2050, we cannot forget that these extra people will require space for housing, workplaces and recreation as well as generating higher demand for energy and water. In addition to global impacts such as carbon emissions, there will be local pressures like the loss of green space and wildlife habitats and an increase in waste generation. Poorly-planned growth would greatly worsen these issues and reduce Londoners’ quality of life.
“In May, London will welcome a new Mayor. The current strategies used to manage London’s environment are coming up to five or more years old and need updating as a priority. This is an opportunity for the incoming Mayor to give London the chance to shine as a global success story for sustainable growth.”
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