Press release: 50 Londoners halt Mayor’s Question Time, demand Khan keeps climate promises

For immediate release. Contact: Emma Hughes – 0780140192 / Anna Galkina – 07942044472 / anna@platformlondon.org / @SwitchedOnLdn

Photos available from https://www.flickr.com/photos/144478539@N08/

Video available after 1pm from https://vimeo.com/user74109614

16 November 2017 City Hall. At 10:00am today, fifty Londoners brought Mayor’s Question Time to a standstill demanding that Sadiq Khan keep his election pledges on climate.

The session was dramatically interrupted as groups, including the Greater London Pensioners’ Association and Fuel Poverty Action, took over the chamber, filling it with hundreds of paper planes containing messages for the Mayor.

City Hall security officers forcefully and aggressively dragged the participants out of the public event.

The groups are calling on the Mayor to keep his “two biggest environmental promises”:

  1. To set up a public energy company to provide London with affordable, clean fuel.

  2. To fully divest the London Pension Fund from fossil fuels.

Khan pledged to do both on the Mayoral campaign trail but after a year and a half in office he has failed to deliver.

Last week City Hall admitted it still invests almost £70 million in fossil fuel companies through the London Pension Fund Authority[1] despite Khan publicly stating he would divest the pension fund during his election campaign.

In September the Mayor shelved plans for a full license energy supply company owned by London. According to the Mayor’s own study, London missed out on significant revenues, jobs and carbon reductions as a result[2]. The company could have saved Londoners an average of £159 off their annual energy bills according to modelling commissioned by Switched On London[3].

This intervention took place on the penultimate day of the Mayor’s environmental strategy consultation[4] and coincides with the UN Climate Negotiations in Bonn, Germany where government representatives are discussing their commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Emma Hughes, Switched on London campaigner, said

“Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor on the back of two big environmental promises: to set up a public energy company that gives Londoners clean, affordable fuel and to divest the London Pension Fund from fossil fuels. Over a year in office and he’s broken both. Today we’re taking back city hall to tell the Mayor to keep his climate promises.”

Phil MacDonald, Divest London campaigner, said

“As we gather at City Hall, so people from across the globe have traveled to the climate talks in Bonn to demand an end to the fossil fuel era and the devastating climate impacts it’s created. London is a carbon capital, it is at the forefront financing oil and gas extraction. We are demanding the Mayor take action to turn London into the climate leader we know it can be.”

Dan Goss, Fuel Poverty Action organiser, said

“We all know how high London’s energy bills are. The Big Six’s astronomical profits mean that over one million Londoners’ can’t afford to keep warm in their own homes. If Sadiq Khan is serious about tackling fuel poverty it’s time he took money out of oil and gas and put it into a clean public energy company that brings down bills”

Suzanne Dhaliwal, UK Tar Sands Network campaigner, said

“The flow of capital from London to fossil fuel corporations is a continuation of a colonial legacy that devastates the land and culture of communities of colour for profit. In order to be a leader in the Just Transition, Sadiq Khan must immediately end the tie between our pension funds and the expansion of the Canadian tar sands, which is devastating the global climate and undermining the rights of the indigenous peoples.”

[ENDS]

Notes:

  1. On 9 November the Evening Standard revealed that City Hall invests £70 million in fossil fuels: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/city-hall-moves-to-end-controversial-deal-with-fossil-fuel-firms-but-still-invests-70m-in-companies-a3685991.html

  2. In September, the Mayor’s own study, revealed that London would lose out on revenues, carbon reductions and job creation by shelving the full license energy company: http://switchedonlondon.org.uk/mayor-shelved-full-license-energy-company-to-prioritise-short-term-political-gains/

  3. http://switchedonlondon.org.uk/energy-for-londoners-bills-saving-press-release/

  4. https://www.london.gov.uk/WHAT-WE-DO/environment/environment-publications/draft-london-environment-strategy-have-your-say

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