We’re all sick, I’m sure, of hearing about Deputy Mayors that Boris has appointed. There are far too many of them, only one of them is actually statutorily entitled to the name, and half of them seem to have legal doubts or some "fog of confusion" hanging over their appointments.

But now it’s Boris’s turn to be named a Deputy.

The C40 group of major international cities committed to tackling climate change, has today announced that the Mayor of Toronto, David Miller, will become the new Chair of the C40 Large Cities Climate Initiative and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will become honorary Deputy Chair.

In keeping with the aims of the C40, Toronto begins the rotation of the 40 Chair among members in order to share expertise and fully represent global membership of the group.

Now, I’m not sure what "the aims of the C40" that they’re "keeping with" are, but London was the chair of this organisation from the moment it was set up in 2005 until this apparently unexpected announcement today.

Which rather makes it look as if C40 know Boris has no environmental credentials worthy of the position, and are trying to find a way to justify London’s sudden removal from the chair. Also:

The C40 secretariat will continue to be based in London.

So presumably the "honorary Deputy Chair" post – and don’t forget to absorb the significance of that prefix, "honorary": they are clearly saying they don’t even expect him to do anything with his Deputy Chair title – is partly to justify not having to waste the expense of relocating their office from London, by pretending they still have some sort of link with its Mayor.

Ken Livingstone’s team have been quick to jump on this story, sending me (and, one assumes, others with wider readerships) a press release which says:

World mayors ditch Kyoto-bashing Boris

The decision of the C40 group of mayor’s of the world’s 40 largest cities to remove London as chair of the organisation just one month after Ken Livingstone left office is a damning indictment of Boris Johnson’s appalling record on the environment and a blow to London’s international standing.

A spokesperson for Ken Livingstone said:

"The judgement of one’s peers is often the most telling.

"The world’s leading mayors asked Ken Livingstone to lead C40 because of his record of delivering ground-breaking environmental policies in London.

"It has taken just one month of Boris Johnson for the world’s leading mayors to remove that privilege from London – a brutal departure from the usual diplomatic niceties.

"That is a major blow to London’s international reputation, but one which is sadly unsurprising given Johnson’s long and bad record on the environment, including opposing the Kyoto Treaty, and his early anti-environment decisions as Mayor.

"Mayor Miller of Toronto will be a superb new C40 chair and Ken wishes him every success in the role."

In his first month in office Johnson’s attacks on London’s environment programme have included scrapping the CO2 charge on gas guzzling cars, caving in to Thames Water’s plans to construct a new desalination plant rather than investing in more rapidly fixing London’s ageing and leaking water pipes; and cancelled twice yearly taxi tests which had been helping reduce black cab air pollution emissions.

I’d missed, or at least forgotten about, that last one.

It’s pretty clear where Boris’s priorities lie, and it’s pretty clear it’s only his rhetoric that’s moved on from his "Kyoto-bashing" days. No wonder he’s running scared from the media.

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2 Responses to Boris’s turn to be an (honorary) Deputy

  1. [...] how to send out some pretty awful signals. London is now officially not anti-racist, only taking an honorary face-saving role in working to prevent climate change and not opposed to nuclear [...]

  2. [...] to a new level by forming a partnership with Venezuela, as well as being a participant in the Clinton Climate Initiative. Both of these transnational partnerships have fallen apart within months of Johnson taking [...]

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