ULEZ enlargement: Boris Johnson and Leonardo DiCaprio conflict over London’s local weather coverage

When London Mayor Sadiq Khan was compelled to defend a key environmental coverage lately, it’s unlikely he imagined a Hollywood famous person would wade into the talk to supply help—in direct opposition to former U.Ok. prime minister Boris Johnson.

In 2023, the U.Ok. capital is about to increase its Extremely-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) to cowl all the metropolis’s boroughs, that means round 200,000 Londoners will face a day by day cost of £12.50 once they drive as a result of their automobiles don’t meet sure emissions requirements.

The price will apply to individuals who reside contained in the ULEZ, however supply vans, buses and another automobiles are exempt.  

Transport for London (TfL), the physique that oversees the capital’s public transport, has mentioned the enlargement will go forward as a result of poor air high quality “is impacting the well being of Londoners, and it’s primarily attributable to polluting automobiles.”

Backing from DiCaprio

In a Fb publish on Wednesday, Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio mentioned Khan’s choice to increase the ULEZ meant 5 million extra folks can be “respiration cleaner air,” arguing that it might “assist to construct a greater, greener, fairer London for everybody.”

“That is the type of large-scale, decisive motion we have to halve emissions this decade, coupled with the implementation of nature-based options,” he mentioned.

DiCaprio has lengthy been a local weather activist, sitting on the board of a number of environmental safety organizations and supporting greater than 35 conservation tasks by his personal basis.

Representatives for Khan, Johnson and DiCaprio weren’t out there for remark when contacted by Fortune.

“Raid on drivers’ wallets”

Regardless of being behind the launch of the ULEZ throughout his personal tenure as London Mayor, Johnson—who was ousted as Prime Minister earlier this 12 months after being mired in scandals—was one in all a number of lawmakers in Britain’s Conservative occasion who wrote to The Telegraph newspaper to criticize what they known as the “smash and seize raid on drivers.”

“The ULEZ was by no means meant to use to outer London,” they mentioned. “It is a smash-and-grab raid on drivers’ wallets that has nothing to do with air high quality and every thing to do with Khan’s mismanagement of [Transport for London’s] funds. And it comes on the worst doable time for family earnings.”

TfL and the enlargement of the ULEZ is overseen by Khan, who represents the Conservatives’ opposition Labour Celebration.

The plans have had a conflicted response from the general public, with an October YouGov ballot of 1,245 London adults discovering that 51% of individuals residing within the metropolis supported the ULEZ being expanded, and a later survey discovering half opposed it. A session on the enlargement additionally reportedly uncovered a majority of individuals have been towards it.

Regardless of the resistance to the larger ULEZ, Khan has dedicated to transferring forward with the enlargement.

“I’ve been fairly clear: this was a session not a referendum,” he advised London’s Night Commonplace newspaper final week.

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