News Climate Change and Nature

London Assembly backs end of herbicides

After campaigning from Sustain member Pesticide Action Network (PAN-UK) London Assembly backs motion to eliminate use of glyphosate.

Photo credit: PAN-UK

Photo credit: PAN-UK

On 4 July 2019 at a plenary session the London Assembly adopted a motion calling on Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to initiate a plan to end the use of glyphosate on the Greater London Authority (GLA) Estate and calling on all London boroughs to cease the use of glyphosate on council property as soon as possible.

The Motion also calls on the Mayor to establish a “…working group for London borough representatives, specialists and other key land managers in London to work towards the removal of [glyphosate] and any other harmful herbicide”. This is a vital part of the plan and is a strategy already adopted in Bristol.

Herbicides account for 98% of the total pesticides used in towns and cities in the UK, and the majority of these are glyphosate-based. PAN-UK say that this is not just about replacing one herbicide with another; this is about taking a systemic approach to end our dependency on toxic chemicals and finding safe and sustainable alternatives to protect human health and biodiversity.

The London Assembly Motion was submitted and seconded by Green Party London Assembly Members Caroline Russell and Sian Berry. It was supported and amended by Leonie Cooper, a Labour Party Assembly Member and long-time friend of PAN UK, and ultimately backed by every single Assembly Member, regardless of party.

Whilst the GLA can’t dictate what policies individual London boroughs adopt, this motion shows clear leadership and will act as a spur for boroughs to act.

PAN-UK are asking Londoners to send a message to their assembly members to congratulate them on this initiative. Visit their Pesticide-Free Towns page to find out how to campaign to make your town or city pesticide-free.

Published Sunday 14 July 2019

Climate Change and Nature: Sustain has taken a keen interest in the rapidly accumulating evidence about the effect of food and farming on climate change and nature, as scientific evidence emerges that our food system is a very significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss.

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