With the local elections just one month away, a coalition of 17 environmental groups  are calling on voters to press all candidates to commit, if elected, to taking action to improve and protect London’s natural environment for people and wildlife.
In A More Natural Capital – an agenda for the London local elections launched on Wednesday 6 April – the groups have come together to present a shared vision for London that places the environment at the heart of policy and decision making.
The agenda identifies 28 actions the coalition want to see Borough Councils take under four themes: reducing pollution and waste, securing nature’s recovery, mitigating and increasing resilience to climate change; and improving health and wellbeing for all . As we emerge from the pandemic it is clearer than ever before that the beauty and quality of London’s green and blue spaces are critical to the future health and success of the capital, and the country as a whole. The agenda enjoys widespread public support with: – More than three quarters of Londoners’ wanting action on air pollution to be a priority  – Eight out of ten Londoners concerned about climate change  –
Almost two thirds of Londoners wanting higher priority to be given to protecting and enhancing green space following the pandemic. 
Neil Sinden, convenor of the coalition and Director of CPRE London, says: “From the threat posed to the city by climate change, to the depletion of our natural world, and the growing inequalities in health and wellbeing revealed by the pandemic, Londoners need local leaders who are up to the challenge of delivering a better future for people and nature. We therefore urge voters to press all local candidates to pledge their support to a More Natural Capital and to commit to taking action to deliver it.”
Debbie Leach, Chief Executive of Thames21, says: “We are pleased to add the voice of Thames21 to call for ambitious action to promote blue spaces. It is critical that council leaders put blue and green spaces at the top of their agendas. Rivers are crucial in our response to the climate emergency and are vital tools if we are to tackle more extreme, accelerated and intense periods of drought and flood and manage their impact on people and wildlife. The next few years will be vital in establishing the investment, infrastructure and innovations needed to make improvements to the River Thames and its tributaries. It is important that we all work together to protect the health of our rivers and Londoners will expect clear action and leadership on this from its politicians.”
Download full press release here: AMNC-local-elections-2022-press-release-6-April
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. The More Natural Capital coalition includes the following groups: CPRE London, Epping Forest Heritage Trust, Footways London, London Friends of Green Spaces Network, London Gardens Trust, London Living Streets, London National Park City, London Wildlife Trust, Open Spaces Society, Parks for London, The Conservation Volunteers, The Orchard Project, Ramblers, Sustain – London Food Link, Thames 21, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and Woodland Trust.
2. The 28 actions we want Borough Councils to take are: Reduce pollution and waste – support the creation of new low traffic neighbourhoods; reassess parking policies; demonstrate better use of ‘greyspace’; support a zero waste borough scorecard approach; develop an ambitious plan to reduce food waste; work to reduce water pollution; develop best practice guidance for lighting design. Secure nature’s recovery – develop an ecologically coherent nature recovery network; support nature friendly community farms and orchards; endorse the Parks Charter and Charter for Open Spaces; create blue space; support the creation of new district parks and street parks; refuse development that would damage ancient woodlands, meadows, hedgerows or veteran trees; refuse development that would result in loss of Green Belt or Metropolitan Open Land. Mitigate and increase resilience to climate change – support moves towards a zero carbon transport sector; lobby Government to ensure all new homes are built to zero carbon standards; improve the quality of landscape around council housing stock; form a local climate emergency alliance; promote de-paving in new and existing development; increase tree canopy cover sensitively and sustainably; help deliver the Mayor’s Action Plan to install 1GW of solar power. Improve health and wellbeing for all – support the creation of at least 10 tranquil areas; support the improvement and expansion of the Walk London network; prepare local food strategies; help to extend the Footways London network; reduce areas of deficiency in access to nature; fund community green space projects; promote the responsible enjoyment of London’s 4,000 parks and green spaces.