Sadiq Khan revealed plans to support more than 170,000 environmentally friendly “green jobs” if re-elected in May as he unveiled his campaign manifesto.
In a livestreamed speech, the current Mayor of London said he planned to “turn the tide on rising unemployment” whilst tackling the climate emergency by putting a focus on “future proof sectors” such as green energy.
The Labour candidate pledged to create a “green skills academy” that would support “diverse, sustainable and well-paid” jobs, with the aim of doubling the number of green jobs by 2030.
The mayor also revealed plans to use his proposed £50 million green new deal to support the delivery of more than 170,000 green jobs that could include solar energy and improving London’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Mr Khan said: “My aim is not just to help our city get back on its feet, my aim is to help us soar to new heights that I know we are capable of achieving.
“What we have produced is a manifesto for our time. It is a manifesto that sets out how we can rise to the occasion and meet the enormity of the challenges our city faces.
“It is a manifesto that is about tackling the inequalities that still scar London, the same inequalities that have been so exposed for all to see over the past year. And it is a manifesto that is about putting forward a bold, positive vision to renew, rebuild and refresh London.”
In his speech, Mr Khan also hit out at his Conservative rival Shaun Bailey, who he claimed had “no interest in tackling air quality or the climate emergency”.
But Mr Bailey hit back at the Mayor of London and said that he would “take practical action to clean up the environment” by electrifying London’s bus fleet.
Mr Bailey said: “Sadiq Khan has been mayor for the last five years. But instead of delivering results, London’s problems have got worse, all while the Mayor tries to blame those problems on other people. London needs a fresh start. And I’ve got a plan to deliver it.
“I’ll take practical action to clean up the environment with a zero-emission bus fleet by 2025. And I’ll reverse the congestion charge hike on day one, helping to cut bills for workers and job-creators.”
Sadiq Khan also came under criticism from Liberal Democrat candidate Luisa Porritt, who questioned his “self-professed” green credentials.
Ms Porritt said: “One thing Sadiq Khan won’t be talking about is his £2 billion polluting Silvertown Tunnel road project. It’s the Mayor’s dirty little secret and makes a complete mockery of his self-professed green credentials.”
She added that “all talk and no action has been the hallmark of Sadiq Khan’s time in office” and that “Londoners are looking for a serious and progressive challenger to the Mayor with genuine green credentials.”