Tomorrow (Thursday) Londoners will go to the polls and elect the UK's capital next mayor. And earlier this week I wrote about an encouraging new report, by the think tank Institute for Public Policy and Research (IPPR). The report outlined how London could establish itself as a global green city.
Air pollution disproportionately affects more deprived communities and restricts the life chances of the next generation by impairing children's development. People are angry and the government needs to act. And this is not just an issue for the Department of Transport. It is the Environment Secretary who is responsible for clean air, despite her silence on the topic.
Yesterday the Chancellor, George Osborne, unveiled his latest budget and Jeremy Corbyn took the Prime Minister to task on his clean energy policies. We are looking at a sugar tax, a new theatre in Merseyside, and more cuts but what did yesterday's parliamentary business tell us about the environment?
A new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) has found that approximately 12.6 million people died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment in 2012 - nearly one in four of total global deaths. Environmental risk factors such as air pollution, water contamination and wider climate change issues have led to more than 100 different types of avoidable diseases and health complications.
The Tories have been exposed. They don't have a stable majority, they don't have the country's consent for their approach (having won the support of just 24% of eligible voters). We cannot allow George Osborne to stand up eight more times to deliver more benefits for the 1% of the richest at the cost of the rest of us, to ignore the reality of the finite environmental limits of our one fragile planet.
Every year I rashly agree to forecast/guess what will be the key sustainability trends for the year ahead. This time last year I did predict that under investment in flood defences would force government onto the back foot reducing them to sticky plaster solutions - so I got at least one right! What then might happen in 2016?
Carbon-sink building materials, bike helmets which ionise particulate matter, monitoring PM2.5 levels at building sites and major traffic junctions. All seeming technologies of the future but all offering potential solutions to London's worsening air problem. It's time we have that conversation, before it's too late.
In London more than a third of our trips start or end within 200 metres of a tube stop - helping complement today's public transportation infrastructure. And more than four in ten Uber journeys are now in energy efficient hybrid cars that produce less pollution... Over time this could become a real game-changer for a city where a million people still drive to work each day with nobody else in the car.
Heathrow's third runway has been a political football for a number of successive governments. But after the Airports Commission's recommendations this summer, it is about to be kicked out of the long grass.
At the end of October, Labour MEPs backed and won a range of measures that will go a long way to cleaning up the UK's air. But while MEPs were votin...
The current system isn't working and status quo is not an option. The government needs to stop being the mouthpiece of industry and get on with the job of protecting the British people. It's time to deal with this invisible killer once and for all.
The Environment Secretary has failed to act. Her silence is a complete abdication of responsibility. She should be leading an urgent, cross-Departmental response to bring air pollution down to safe levels. Re-doing the consultation and making genuine efforts to engage on air quality must be the first step, for which she will have Labour's full support.
The next Mayor is faced with an air pollution crisis to solve and the knowledge that expanding our road network will just make that crisis worse. What we need is the same kind of determination as when London adopted the congestion charge. The only way London will work is if we reduce traffic at the same time as increasing our population. The next Mayor has to instil a sense of optimism into Transport for London. They have done it before, they can do it some more.
My campaign is built on two platforms. Firstly, it is a grassroots campaign. My vision and policies are directly shaped by grassroots Labour members with added expert knowledge from specialists to make sure they are viable. Secondly, and related to this, it is built on the idea that London needs to be more affordable, more liveable and more sustainable. But what does that mean in practice?
The Airports Commission, as an independent but taxpayer funded organisation, has a duty to the public not to recommend a project that would significantly damage people's health. It would also be a poor use of taxpayer's money to make recommendations that invite a legal challenge. That is why it is possible to imagine a concerned Airports Commission member of staff hurriedly typing away on his or her phone at the back of the courtroom this week.
Prevention is better than cure: preventative measures can reduce the much greater cost of medical treatment for chronic conditions that have become established and can help avoid tens of thousands of premature deaths. This is where the European Union plays a vital role.