The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, discusses his first book Breathe: Tackling the Climate Emergency with LSE's President and Vice Chancellor Minouche Shafik.
For many years, Sadiq wasn't fully aware of the dangers posed by air pollution, nor its connection with climate change. Then, aged 43, he was unexpectedly diagnosed with adult-onset asthma - brought on by the polluted London air he had been breathing for decades. Scandalised, Sadiq underwent a political transformation that would see him become one of the most prominent global politicians fighting (and winning) elections on green issues. Since becoming Mayor of London in 2016, he has declared a climate emergency, introduced the world's first Ultra-Low Emission Zone, and turned London into the first-ever 'National Park City'.
Now, Sadiq draws on his experiences to reveal the seven ways environmental action gets blown off course - and how to get it back on track. Whether by building coalitions across the political spectrum, putting social justice at the heart of green politics, or showing that the climate crisis is a health crisis too, he offers a playbook for anyone - voter, activist, or politician - who wants to win the argument on the environment. It will help create a world where we can all breathe again.
Meet our speaker and chair
Sadiq Khan is the Mayor of London. Born and raised in Tooting, he began his career as a human rights lawyer before being elected to parliament in 2005. He was elected Mayor in 2016, and was re-elected in 2021 with a record number of votes for any sitting Mayor. Sadiq became passionate about air pollution and climate change after developing asthma while training for the 2014 London Marathon. Since then, he has been on a mission to make London greener. Today, London is recognised around the world for its pioneering climate policies. He still lives in Tooting, which he maintains is the best bit of the best city in the world.
Minouche Shafik is President and Vice Chancellor of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She was previously a senior leader of the Bank of England, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. She is an alumna of LSE. Her book, What We Owe Each Other: A New Social Contract, is out now.
You can pre-order the book Breathe: Tackling the Climate Emergency (UK delivery only) rom our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney.
More about this event
This event is part of the LSE Festival: People and Change running from Monday 12 to Saturday 17 June 2023, with a series of events exploring how change affects people and how people effect change. Booking for all Festival events will open on Monday 15 May.
LSE Cities (@LSECities) is an international centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science that carries out research, graduate and executive education and outreach activities in London and abroad. Its mission is to study how people and cities interact in a rapidly urbanising world, focussing on how the design of cities impacts on society, culture and the environment.
Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEFestival
Podcast and video
A podcast of this event is available to download from In Conversation with Sadiq Khan.
A video of this event is available to watch at In Conversation with Sadiq Khan.
Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.