What is the most important issue in the upcoming U.S Presidential elections? Is it Clinton's email investigation? Perhaps it's cross border migration from Mexico? Or the economy? Or terrorism and national security concerns? In my opinion one of the most important issues is one that's received disproportionately little attention in this election cycle: climate change and energy policy.
The biggest challenges faced by homeowners at this time of year include draughty windows and doors, radiators failing to heat up and boilers losing pressure. Issues such as these can feel like a really big deal at the time, but actually, the majority can be solved quickly and efficiently (and importantly, a lot more cost effectively) once you know how.
Forward thinking companies such as Unilever have realised that they need to change to address global environmental challenges like climate change. These companies are fundamentally shifting how they do business from the way they source products through to the types of energy they use. But can they persuade their customers to join with them?
It truly does seem as if the institution has lost sight of its original intentions and that it has become more political and less savoury. The Presidency should not just be about policy, but policy change. It should not just be about carrying on prior or personal agendas, but it should be about pioneering and gearing up the next generation. The aim should be positive, innovative and inspiring.
The take home message for politicians is clear - if you bring members of the public together in an informal setting to talk about climate change, if you approach the topic starting from where people already are in terms of their values, their hopes and their concerns, if you step back and let participants talk to each other, and if you avoid turning the discussion into a lecture about the science of climate change, people will become engaged...
In recent years East Africa has emerged as a hotbed of creative solutions to meeting people's energy needs as I saw for myself during my visit to Kenya and Tanzania earlier this year. The nexus between clean energy and mobile-based technology is one that is helping bring power to some of the remotest corners of the continent.
It will take a huge amount of political will to bring about a radical change in energy investment strategies across the globe, particularly from wealthier nations who invest in developing countries. Renewable and low-carbon energy generation technologies are becoming less costly and studies show that in the long term, switching investment to these types of ventures will make economic as well as climate sense. The time is right to tip the energy balance but it needs governments to make the first push.
London is the world's greatest city, and Londoners deserve an equivalent energy system. How we power our city, keep our homes warm, and keep the lights on, says a lot about how we live our lives. It should be clean, affordable and 21st century. I want my daughters to grow up in a city that is cleaner and greener, in which people aren't dying because the air is so filthy. But I also want London to be at the cutting edge of new green technologies, generating the growth and jobs of the future. That's why, if I'm elected Mayor in May, I'll set up Energy for Londoners to lead on delivering the clean, green energy of the future.
The world population is set to explode, from 7.3 billion today to around 9.7 billion in 2050, with two thirds of those living in cities. As urban areas grow, emissions will grow along with them: between 67 and 76 per cent of global energy consumption takes place in urban areas, consumption that accounts for a huge amount of total greenhouse gas emissions.