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‘Humanity could be wiped out in 80 years’: Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s fears over climate change

Ex-Firebrand mayor Ken Livingstone has said he fears humanity will be wiped out by the end of the century by climate change.

The former Labor politician, now 76, quit the party after he was suspended over anti-Semitism allegations in 2017 – but said his biggest concern was not party politics but “the ‘extinction”.

In an exclusive interview with MyLondon, he said: “I sincerely fear that we will face extinction by the end of the century. Climate change is accelerating so rapidly that we are witnessing unprecedented severe weather events. It gets worse every fucking month.

Sadiq Khan has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions in London by 2030. But Mr Livingstone has played down the town hall’s influence on the climate crisis.

READ MORE: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if Boris Johnson murdered prostitutes in his basement’: Ken Livingstone’s reaction to Downing Street parties

Sadiq Khan has made tackling climate change one of his top priorities – but his powers are limited

“The mayor doesn’t have the power to do much,” he added.

“But if I was prime minister, I would completely change the way we live and reduce. We need to drastically reduce the amount we consume.”

It comes amid warnings that some promises made at the recent UN climate summit COP26 could be undone.

Even if all signed into law, world leaders’ plans at the summit would lead to global warming of up to 2.4C, scientists say, leading to devastating loss of nature and risking widespread droughts and famines.

However, most scientists do not believe that the climate crisis will soon lead to human extinction. Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, wrote recently: “There is no evidence for climate change scenarios that would lead to human extinction.”

Streatham-born socialist Mr Livingstone said people should be forced to buy less to reduce their impact on the climate: “You should have checks, checks, new rules.

“I don’t think any government would dare to do that – it would be the most controversial thing this government has ever done.”

In the interview, Mr Livingstone also expressed his disappointment at the Town Hall’s move to Newham from its former central location in Southwark.

He said, “I don’t know why [Mr Khan] moved the town hall to the east. It may be a 20-year contract. But I liked the town hall.”

The former Labor mayor has applied to join the Green Party, a move which is being reviewed by party officials.

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When asked if he would become a prominent left-wing party spokesman, he replied, “If they want to, I will.”

And Red Ken – or perhaps soon ‘Green Ken’ – called on suspended former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn to give up Labor altogether, saying: “Jeremy is considering starting another party. I think that would be a mistake. He should just do what I do and join the Greens.

He added: “The first thing I did as mayor was appoint [now Baroness] Jenny [Jones] as deputy mayor. I got on better with the Green MPs in the Assembly than with Labour.

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