Boris Johnson says he will make green jobs and growth key priorities of his second term of office as Mayor of London, including scaling up green building retrofit programmes across the capital.
, who beat off Ken Livingstone to become Mayor of London
for a second time earlier this month, said he plans to move green
programmes he began in his first term of office into "large-scale delivery" over the next four years. A key priority will be making buildings
more energy efficient
which will receive "significant "new funding, according to a statement issued yesterday by the Mayor’s office.
New housing powers
Under new housing powers, the Mayor now controls a £1.6 billion development budget and 530 hectares of land assets previously owned by the Homes and Communities Agency and London Development Agency.
According to the statement, "the Mayor's new housing powers and significant associated budget creates unprecedented opportunities to scale up the RE:NEW and RE:FIT building retrofit programmes".
The RE:NEW programme provides London householders with energy efficiency
advice and simple energy efficiency improvements, such as energy display devices, radiator panelshot water tank jackets and draught-proofing, installed at no cost.
The RE:FIT programme offers a cost neutral way to reduce energy use and cut CO2 emission in public sector buildings.
The Mayor’s office has not detailed the level of the scaling up these programmes will receive yet, but it confirmed the work will be overseen by the Mayor's new deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property Rick Blakeway.
The Mayor, meanwhile, has appointed Matthew Pencharz as his new environment advisor. Pencharz, who served as political advisor to Johnson in his first term and who is a former broadcast journalist, will oversee the Mayor of London’s environmental policy
, such as his recent commitments to plant thousands more street trees and to create 300 acres of new green space.
Work done in the Mayor's first term established that thousands of jobs could be created through the Mayor's green programmes, including making buildings more energy efficient, planting trees, overhauling parks and promoting new technologies for waste.
"Creating jobs and stimulating growth are my top priorities for the next four years. A key part of this is my determination to deliver a world-class quality of life and strong, healthy communities," Johnson said. "My top team reflects these priorities, all of whom bring a wealth of talent and enthusiasm to our shared aim of improving life for Londoners."
Green policy failures
The new appointments and the commitment to a green jobs and growth agenda come in the wake of criticism of Johnson’s green record at the end of his first term of office. While he is seen as having a good record on creating green spaces, he has been heavily criticised by environmental groups for his failure to tackle air pollution in London and for backing aviation expansion in the capital. In a survey
by Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace of the four Mayoral candidates that stood in this month’s elections, Johnson came fourth on green issues.
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