London is confronting the “incredibly worrying” prospect of experiencing days with temperatures reaching 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) due to the escalating climate crisis, according to Mayor Sadiq Khan. Speaking at a climate summit in New York, Khan cited an interim independent climate resilience report for London, which indicated that the city could witness multiple 45C days in the foreseeable future, potentially straining essential functions like public transportation, homes, care facilities, and schools.
Khan emphasized the urgency of adapting to these rising temperatures and criticized the UK government for not providing adequate support to help cities combat the climate crisis. He highlighted the need for more shading trees and air conditioning on public transportation, calling for a green stimulus similar to the US’s Inflation Reduction Act to support building retrofits and renewable energy job creation.
The climate review for London was initiated in response to a record-breaking heatwave in 2022, with temperatures exceeding 40C (104F). The full set of recommendations from the review is expected to be released in December. Emma Howard Boyd, the chair of the climate review, warned that 45C temperatures could become a reality in the coming years, posing significant health and environmental challenges for the city.
Khan’s statements come amid the Climate Week summit in New York, where global leaders are discussing strategies to address climate change and cut emissions. The UN General Assembly will also convene this week to enhance global ambitions for emission reductions, as the world remains far from achieving climate goals.
Additionally, New York City plans to implement the first congestion charge for cars in any US city, aiming to reduce emissions, combat air pollution, and ease traffic congestion. The scheme will apply to cars below 60th street in Manhattan and could cost up to $23 per trip, with the revenue allocated to upgrading public transportation.
Opponents argue that the congestion pricing plan is unfair to commuters who rely on cars, but public transport advocates believe it’s a significant step towards improving New York City’s transportation system and setting an example for other US cities.