Kensington and Chelsea council urges embassies to go green with electric cars

ensington and Chelsea council is calling on all embassies in the borough to go green by using lower-emission vehicles and electric cars .

The move comes after the council announced that it would convert all of its own fleet to low-emission vehicles.

Last week, it began putting postcards with information about the importance of going green on the doorsteps of embassies. The cards urge embassy staff to contact the council’s environment team for help making the move.

Council leader Elizabeth Campbellsaid: “Improving the air quality of the borough and reducing carbon emissions is one of our top priorities…It doesn’t matter if you are driving a car, a van or an ambassador’s limousine, we want everyone in the borough to do their bit.”

There are more than 50 embassies or equivalent high commissions in Kensington and Chelsea. The council estimates there are hundreds of embassy cars in the borough, with some having as many as two diplomatic cars for official and 14 for private use.

Council leader Elizabeth Campbell (Nigel Howard )

The council fleet of 58 cars and other modes of transport will be converting to no or ultra-low emission vehicles. Last month, the local authority said converting its fleet could prevent more than 430 tonnes of CO2 a year from going into the atmosphere.

It said today that the transition would be completed by 2022, ahead ofLondon’s wider plans to create a zero emission zone by 2040.

David Lindsay, lead council member for healthy city living, said: “Converting council vehicles to cut emissions is an important part of the council’s plan to improve air quality for our residents and tackle climate change … we want our staff, residents, businesses and the huge number of people who visit to look at alternatives to using motor vehicles in their day-to-day lives.”

The moves are part of the borough’s Air Quality and Climate Change Action Plan. In March, the Mayor, Transport for London and London Councils, which represents the 32 borough councils and City of London, gave £766,000 to Camden, Hammersmith and Hackney to accelerate the switch to zero-emission vehicles, in the Neighbourhoods of the Future scheme.

Last month, Hackney and Islington said they would ban all but the cleanest vehicles from key areas at busy times

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