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Challenges in London

Due to urbanisation




Food and water concerns

Ways of combatting food or water shortages in the London

  • Diversifying sources of imported food
  • Increase support for domestic food production
  • Improve food structure and logistics
  • Preventing food waste
  • Investing in research towards a more sustainable future
  • 'Pragmatic controlled immigration' (short term)

'No magic wand to supply shortages'

- Rishi Sunak (when he was Chancellor)

  • London Underground - It reduced carbon emissions as the train can hold a lot of people at one time during a journey and cover a lot of stations (places). The extension of the jubilee line has been used to encourage people to use the TFL - this is and was especially important due to urbanisation increasing every year in London
  • Oyster Card - An intergrated payment system for citizens to pay for buses, trams and tubes without hassle or slowing down transit journeys which encourages more use of TFL by public
  • Congestion Charging Zones - This has been used to deter people from using their own vehicles (like cars) in central London by maing them pay a fee between 7am and 6pm on Monday to Friday. Again, encouraging use of TFL
  • Bike sharing scheme - Can be self-hired in public places in London for as little as £2 for short journeys which has lowered traffic congestion and thus, carbon emissions as lessened. Helps get people into thinking about greener alternatives to other vehicles


Interactive question

"UK homes are not fit for the future" - The Committee on Climate Change


Two major issues the UK and thereby London face are:

  1. Finding a way to reduce Carbon Emissions within the UK (and abroad) -> decarbonisation of energy generation and energy
  2. Ensuring affordable, clean and secure energy as the UK becomes more dependent on imported fuel -> energy storage.
Note: The UK's faces network challenges due to inflexible and ageing infrastructure

Solutions to this challenge:

  • Diversifying the power sector (e.g, looking into renewable sources like Highview's CryoBattery or tidal energy)
  • Reducing Methane gas in homes
  • More energy efficiency
  • Getting the public on board and active in cutting energy usage

  • Encouraging 'Reduce, Re-use, Recycle' via government schemes like communal programs for neighbourhoods on how to recycle. Or, by giving financial incentive to recycle
  • Enforcing fines for unnecessary use of plastic like plastic bags, extra packaging - one way could be to tax businesses for supplying them however this may lead to social issues and a higher debt crisis
  • Investing in research on how to re-use plastic and alternatives to forever plastics

Click the i for info on what the waste challenge is

Click the image to expand it

Solutions to waste disposal

Waste disposal

Water overconsumption

When demand > supply

The metropolitan area receives roughly 600mm of rain each year, less than cites such as Istanbul, Turkey, and Sydney, AustraliaThe relatively low rainfall, coupled with the growing likelihood of hotter, drier summers, is putting pressure on the city’s water supply which is worsened by London's population increasing by 100,000 people per year.London’s key water sources–the Thames and Lea rivers–are also facing pollution problems. Plastic and other debris infiltrate the waterways and clog the city’s sewer system. In addition, the rivers are sometimes flooded with wastewater when heavy rainfall overwhelms the sewage system’s treatment capacity.

  • Just 20% of the demand for water could outstrip London’s supply by 2040
  • 65% proportion of London’s water that is pumped from rivers. The other 35 percent is drawn from aquifers.

Due to urbanisation, a huge waste problem has occured in London. The recycling capacity is inconsistent and is 'impossible' (according to the Green Party) in terms of household waste due to a 'postcode lottery'. Postcode lottery - The unequal provision of services like healthcare , education and insurance pricesThe 32 boroughs in London was asked to make policies on recycling 7 items: plastic buckets, ball point pens, crisp packets and a bicycle tyre and more.None could successfully make rules for all 7 items!

Waste Challenge

Food shortages (uh oh!)

Since 1977, Britain has experienced the largest continued food price increase in its history.As fresh food like tomatoes and other producers keep needing to be exported in bigger quantities annually ,data from market researcher Kantar showed UK grocery price inflation hit a record 17.5% in March 2023.This means that poorer boroughs like Newham may not be able to afford food and experience food insecurity to higher degrees. Private organisations may have to step in to help via food banks as the government may invest money into university boroughs of England like Cambridge instead.


Carbon emissions due to different kinds of transport for a single passenger from Glasgow to London

All the information here is from 2022 and: