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Evening Standard comment: Plug It In, London, for a cleaner future


ir pollution is a silent killer, with up to 36,000 deaths a year attributed to long-term exposure. Toxic air has been linked to the development of strokes, heart disease and exacerbates asthma.

So today, on Clean Air Day, the Standard is launching our Plug It In campaign — to transform London into the world city of clean, electric power. We know demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is accelerating rapidly — the number of EVs registered in London increased by 60 per cent last year, taking the total to 86,568. Next, we need to turbo-charge this.

The Standard has long campaigned to improve our city’s air quality. Now, the plan is to bring together stakeholders across the public and private sectors to develop a holistic, city-wide approach to drag London’s infrastructure to where it needs to be: fully-fledged electric. From private vehicles to delivery vans and buses, no sector or mode of transport can be left behind.

To do this, we need to install tens of thousands more charging points by 2030 and place them in all parts of the capital, not just the wealthy areas. There can be no charging deserts in our electric environment.

Evening Standard

There will be road bumps along the way. This will prove an enormous undertaking. But as Sadiq Khan reminds us in today’s paper, the cost of inaction — to our health and economy — far outweighs the cost of transitioning to net zero. And it could not be more urgent.

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