Climate change: Sadiq Khan to be named new chair of C40 cities at COP26

20 October 2021, 00:01 | Updated: 26 October 2021, 14:32

Sadiq Khan was one of the first leaders in the world to declare a climate emergency
Sadiq Khan was one of the first leaders in the world to declare a climate emergency. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan will become the new chair of C40 cities, a global network of almost 100 cities that addresses climate change.

He will replace Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti at a handover event at the upcoming COP26 in Glasgow. 

The network, which includes cities from Barcelona to Buenos Aires, Dubai to Durban and Stockholm to Sydney, and of which London was a founding member, represents over 700 million people.

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Mr Khan said: "I am determined for London to be a world leader in tackling the twin dangers of air pollution and the climate emergency so that we can deliver a brighter future for our city - one that’s greener, fairer and more prosperous for all.

"That’s why I’ve committed to making London zero-carbon by 2030, faster than any comparable city, and it’s why we are delivering a climate action plan that is compatible with the highest ambition of the Paris Agreement. 

"I also want London to be a zero-pollution city so that no child has to grow up breathing toxic air. That’s why I’m expanding the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone, helping millions of Londoners breathe cleaner air."

Earlier this year, Mr Khan said flash flooding in parts of the capital showed "the dangers of climate change are now moving closer to home".

He also told LBC: "I think this is the most profound issue for our generation and we’ve got a choice... we can be the first generation to get it with proper solutions or the last not to get it."

Mr Khan was one of the first leaders in the world to declare a climate emergency and believes in a green and sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

Among measures he has taken to tackle climate change are the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which has helped reduce toxic air pollution in central London by nearly half while helping reduce carbon emissions.  

The zone will expand next week to encompass 3.8 million Londoners, and is expected to reduce road transport NOx emissions by around 30 per cent across the capital.

His first Green New Deal fund is expected to save up to 20,000 tonnes of CO2 per year directly.

Mark Watts, CEO C40, added: "As an influential global financial and economic hub, London has led by example and shown it is possible for all cities to not just tackle the climate crisis but thrive at the same time."

Mr Khan will serve as chair for at least two years.