Mayor launches hundreds of climate change action & green events

Jun 3, 2019 · 10 days of free green events for the National Park City Festival – from pedal-powered film screenings to open-air theatre and wildlife photography

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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced plans for hundreds of events, activities and seminars looking at climate change solutions, promoting green business development and investment, and highlighting London’s much-loved green spaces, wildlife and waterways. London’s first Climate Action week will take place from 1-8 July 2019, and will bring together London’s world-leading climate expertise and talent from across business, NGO, and cultural sectors to run events focused on local, national and international climate action and solutions.

Sadiq is committed to taking action on the climate emergency London is facing and the capital was recently recognised by the Carbon Disclosure Project for leadership due to the Mayor’s 1.5C degree compatible plan and zero carbon targets. The action week will focus on climate solutions and involve industry leaders and campaigners of all ages who are helping drive global climate innovation. Events will explore clean energy and energy efficiency; zero emission transport; adaptation and resilience; climate finance and investment; and campaigning for stronger legislation and engineering.

The wide-ranging programme is intended to help bring together industry, government, campaigners and communities to discuss practical solutions to help cut our carbon emissions to keep global temperature increases within 1.5C degrees and support the Paris Agreement.

Key events include:

- A Green Schools Summit bringing together 200 London school children with academics, climate scientists and politicians to discuss the climate crisis

- Sculptor Olafur Eliasson will lead a discussion at the Tate Modern exploring the potential of artists and art institutions to address global sustainability challenges and inspire change

- The City of London will host a Green Finance Summit with 900 businesses discussing ways to expand London’s thriving green finance sector.

From 19th July, the National Park City Festival launches with 10 days of free fun events in celebration of London’s green spaces, wildlife habitats, green rooftops and waterways. Working with the independent National Park City Foundation and partners including the National Theatre and London Wildlife Trust, the events aim to get all Londoners to enjoy the outdoors, highlighting the importance, beauty and breadth of London’s green spaces. Highlights include outdoor theatre performances of The Gruffalo, a ‘Pedal-Powered Party’ with live DJs Supa Dupa Fly and Night Czar, Amy Lamé, and a unique audio installation in Epping Forest. A full programme of events is available from today on the new website: www.london.gov.uk/national-park-city

The Mayor’s ambition is to make more than half of the capital green and increase tree canopy cover by 10 per cent by 2050. Sadiq has updated the London Plan to prevent the loss of green belt and increase ‘greening’ in new developments. City Hall has also already funded the planting of a record 170,000 trees in just three years – more than under the previous Mayor’s two administrations - and 200 green space improvements and developed pioneering high-tech mapping of London’s green cover to ensure his targets remain on track.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "I’m proud to introduce London’s first Climate Action Week bringing together people of all ages with business, cultural and political leaders to highlight our climate crisis and discuss solutions to it. I’m doing everything in my power to address the climate emergency we are facing and help London achieve our zero carbon goals rapidly. London is already leading the way in green finance and innovation and I’ve ensured London was one of the first global cities to publish a 1.5 degree compatible plan and put us on a pathway to zero carbon, but I want much more to happen, much faster. I hope our Climate Action Week will help lobby Government to step up and take real action on the climate crisis.

"Our National Park City Festival shows just how important it is to protect our environment, including our wildlife, and reconnects Londoners with the outdoors with lots of free events for everyone to enjoy across London’s beautiful green spaces, rooftops and waterways. After recent UN reports revealed that nature and biodiversity is being lost at an unprecedented rate, I am committed to helping make London the world’s first National Park City and protecting our green and blue spaces and wildlife’.

Olafur Eliasson, sculptor said: ‘To address the climate emergency we need changes at all levels of society. Art and culture can play a crucial role in this: by combatting climate indifference and defeatism, they can inspire hope and motivate people to take action together to demand the policies needed to ensure a stable future for our planet.’

The National Park City Wildlife photography competition is launched in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust and Museum of London. The competition is open to all and invites Londoners to capture what wildlife means to them. The best images will be part of an exhibition displayed throughout the festival and judges include explorer Bear Grylls, ‘urban birder’ presenter David Lindo and former Wildlife Photographer of the Year winner Sam Hobson. To enter visit: www.wildlondonphoto.org.uk

Bear Grylls said: "This is a great opportunity for all Londoners, whatever their level of photography, to get outdoors and capture the nature on their doorstep. This competition will show not only a great level of creativity, but also showcase the huge variety of urban wildlife in the capital."

National Park City Foundation, Trustee, Beth Collier, said: "This is a brilliant opportunity for people to enjoy London's great outdoors, connect with nature and get involved with making life in London greener, healthier and wilder. This summer’s National Park City Festival is just the start of an exciting new future for London that we can all benefit from and contribute to."

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