However, yesterday's announcement of the Climate Change Action Plan for London took Mayor Livingstone's commitment to a sustainable future for London a way ahead of anything suggested by anyone else in the UK to date, including cuddly Dave.
Central to the Plan is the thesis that using fewer resources can be economically beneficial rather than damaging. This makes sense, use less to be more efficient and lower your bills. The Mayor has set out plans for reducing carbon emissions for all key sectors excepting aviation, which is another special and hard to tackle case needing international action. The plan aims to cut CO2 emissions to 60% of 1990 levels by 2025, way ahead of Kyoto targets.
It is also encouraging that Ken is supported by both Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace. I know from my time at Defra that government environmental claims were often slammed by campaign groups as being insufficient or wrong. If they support the London plan it must be robust.
What this plan also says to me is that Labour can be at the vanguard of tackling climate change, far ahead of the Tories and Lib Dems. Nationally actual progress might be slower than the promising rhetoric from David Milliband, but in London Livingstone has shown that Labour has answers tour generations’ biggest challenge.
The only similar commitment that springs to mind is Sweden’s aim for an oil free economy by 2020.