Population Matters is committed to creating a future with decent living standards for all; a future in which humanity thrives in a healthy and biodiverse environment. We share this vision with the London Assembly Environment Committee. In its recently-released report on long-term sustainable growth for London, the Committee mentions specifically on page 9 that the next Mayor should:
“Put long-term sustainability at the heart of all Mayoral strategies, positioning London to benefit from the century’s economic shifts, while improving quality of life for Londoners, biodiversity and resilience to severe weather, and reducing London’s impact on the global environment.”
While we applaud the commitment to this goal, we cannot help but feel that the Committee overlooks one crucial point in its strategy. Rather than attempting to challenge the impending population growth of 100,000 a year to possibly 12 or 13 million residents by 2050, it merely accepts this change as a given. It passively accepts that such growth will put a great strain on the housing and labour market, exacerbate existing environmental challenges and have a negative impact on the well-being of Londoners.
Instead, the Committee places its trust in technological advancements that would create greater efficiency in an increasingly clean fashion.
Population Matters believes that it is indeed necessary to improve existing facilities, and that developments towards sustainable energy supply are of paramount importance. Yet, leaving population growth predictions unchallenged is a major flaw in the Committee’s plans. It should actively embrace population stabilisation policies, or it will fail to meet its goals in the long term.