Andrew Dowding: Ken Livingstone can help make Glasgow greener, says Andrew Dowding

Ken Livingstone: Pioneered green initiatives in London as former city mayor. Picture: Getty
Ken Livingstone: Pioneered green initiatives in London as former city mayor. Picture: Getty
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Ken Livingstone will be making a rare visit to Glasgow today. The former Mayor of London is expected to deliver a challenging address at the Base Glasgow event on the pressing need to make the city a more sustainable place to live and work.

After all, he is widely credited with establishing London as a world leader in low carbon thinking and strategy, thanks in part to such measures as congestion charging.

Glasgow has designs on developing a strong green economy and becoming one of Europe’s greenest cities. That means cutting energy, waste and carbon emissions.

Ken’s visit is also timely because, as London did for the 2012 Olympics, Glasgow is renewing its built environment for the Commonwealth Games here in 2014.

Ken’s message is clear: Glasgow needs to seize the green initiative to make the city competitive, and his ideas even include the implementation of a fully electric bus fleet.

The global low carbon market is expected to hit £4 trillion by 2016, so businesses and cities with a green agenda will profit.

That’s why Base Glasgow 2012 will bring together a high number of key players in the public and private sectors to discuss how to “future-proof” the city by both reducing carbon emissions and boosting Glasgow’s economy in the process.

Our event at the Royal Concert Hall will shine a light on the opportunities that this agenda represents for the private sector and provide a workshop for the city council to work with them to deliver it. Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson will discuss the city’s bid for European Green Capital status in 2015. Charles Abel Smith will also outline how his Green Investment Bank can unlock the required funds to make the low carbon economy a reality.

I created Base Cities events to translate public sector low carbon ambition to private sector opportunity and to help catalyse large scale refurbishment of cities.

More than half the world now lives in cities, so the time for this work has begun. Today is about Glasgow’s leadership credentials in making it happen here.

• Andrew Dowding is the founder of Base Cities.