London Mayor – from hogwash to greenwash

Boris - don't believe a word this man says

London’s chatterbox Mayor, Boris Johnson has announced he will run for a second term, but he will have a disappointed electorate to deal with.  Boris has failed to make an impact on London life in anything except PR coverage.  His most lasting memorial will be the stone ping-pong tables erected in many of London’s parks.

Others will comment on his failures in housing, transport and business. This web site was excited by his promise, when he was running for office, that he would “take London off-grid.”

Indeed there were plans already afoot to do just that, at least with the public buildings.  Allan Jones was  head of the London Climate Change Agency which had fully developed plans to introduce tri-generation throughout the Mayor’s property portfolio, as well as encourage it in other places.  Jones soon left to spearhead a move to take Sydney off the grid – a project which is advancing rapidly and which will be reported separately.

Mayor Boris is forever opening centres for the study of eco-building, launching community gardening schemes with piffling amounts of funding, and attending green summits together with a team of highly paid consultants.  But he has actually done almost nothing to make London a greener place.  This is despite his legal obligation to do so.

“Just before election his statutory duty (to promote action) on climate change was made law,” said Jones, speaking by phone from Sydney where he is now Chief Development Officer, Energy and Climate Change for the City Mayor, and a highly respected force for change.

“This is why Boris publicly cannot talk down climate change because he  has a legal obligation,” said Jones, who was awarded an MBE for his services to the environment after he took the public buildings int he borough of Woking off the grid.  And it also explains why Mayor Boris is so happy to attend PR events such as todays launch of the Centre for Efficient and Renewable Energy in Buildings (CEREB), while himself doing nothing important for the environment.

Jones departure from the London Climate Change board “was driven by the LDA,” he told me. “I  can’t say Boris had any influence – the whole board of the LDA was sacked – the new CEO and new people up the top had no knowledge —they decided to restructure the organisation –  there could have been a role – but it would have been just a greenwash pr type role –

“At the moment there is lot of talk and no action  –  a lot of money spent on consultants but no real projects –it could insist that property developer were fully energy efficient but that is not happening

“I didn’t want to stay with an organisation that i was forever talking about what could be doing instead of  doing it. So i didn’t apply for any jobs – so I was made redundant.

“Whether it was Boris or the mandarins you can only speculate.

“Absolutely nothing has happened – they have spent quite a bit of money on consultants – reports and things but that is not the same as actually doing it.”

“Boris has to answer the election in 2012.”

Jones said he had hopes that the Conservative-Liberal collation government in the UK  “desparately want to do much better than Labour.”

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