Ken Livingstone, ex-Mayor of London Firebrand, has stated that he fears that climate change will wipe out humanity by the end of this century.
The former Labour politician, now 76, quit the party after being suspended over antisemitism allegations in 2017 – but said his biggest concern is not party politics but “extinction”.
In an exclusive interview with MyLondon, he said: “I do genuinely fear we could face extinction by the end of the century. Climate change is accelerating so rapidly, we’re seeing unprecedented violent weather events. It’s getting worse every bloody month.”
Sadiq KhanHe has pledged to zero carbon emissions in London by 2030. However, Mr Livingstone resisted City Hall’s influence on the climate crisis.
“The mayor doesn’t have the powers to do much,” he added.
“But if I was the Prime Minister I’d be completely changing the way we live, and scaling down. We have got to dramatically reduce the amount we consume.”
It comes amid warnings of the possibility that some pledges made during the recent COP26 UN Climate Summit could be cancelled.
Even if they were all enacted, the plans from the global leaders at the summit will result in the planet warming by up to 2.4°C, according to scientists – leading to devastating loss of nature and risking widespread droughts and famines.
Most scientists do not believe that the climate crisis is going to lead to humanity being exterminated soon. Michael Mann, Penn State University professor of atmospheric science, wrote recently that there is no evidence that climate change scenarios would lead to the extinction of human beings.
Streatham-born socialist Mr Livingstone said people should be forced to buy less to reduce their climate impact: “You should have checks, controls, new rules.
“I don’t think any government would dare to do it – it would be the most controversial thing this government has ever done.”
In the interview Mr Livingstone also expressed his disappointment over City Hall’s move to Newham from its former central location in Southwark.
He said: “I don’t know why [Mr Khan]City Hall was moved east. It could have been that it was a 20-year contract. However, I loved City Hall.”
Officials from the party are currently reviewing the application of the former Labour mayor to join Green Party.
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Asked if he would become a prominent spokesperson for the left-wing party, he said: “If they want me to, I will.”
And Red Ken – or perhaps soon to be “Green Ken” – called for suspended former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to ditch the Labour party altogether, saying: “Jeremy is thinking of setting up another party. That would be a mistake, I think. He should just do what I do and join the Greens.”
He added: “The first thing I did as mayor was appoint [now Baroness] Jenny [Jones] as deputy mayor. I got on better with the Green members of the Assembly than the Labour ones.”
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