Sadiq Khan is visiting New York to promote business investment in London and take part in a United Nations summit addressing climate change.
City Hall says the four-day visit, the Mayor’s first excursion to the United States since May 2022, will include “high-level business meetings” with senior figures from Google, Uber, Microsoft and others along with participation in the UN’s Climate Ambition Summit at its General Assembly at the invitation of secretary general Antonio Guterres.
The trip by the Labour Mayor, who also chairs the C40 Cities group of city mayors from around the world, is taking place during New York Climate Action Week. C40 is paying for the visit.
The Evening Standard has reported that Khan will be accompanied by five aides and meet New York Mayor Eric Adams as well as appearing alongside Prince William at a prize-giving event for environmental projects. He will make a number of TV appearances.
Another mayoral engagement will be a business roundtable hosted by London & Partners, the not-for-profit agency promoting the capital’s business growth and attractions as a visitor destination. Founded by Boris Johnson in 2011, it gets half of its funding from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and is currently chaired by Khan’s Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal.
Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall has denounced the New York visit as Khan “swanning off to America to lecture everyone” shortly after the expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to all of Greater London, which she described as “disastrous”.
Khan’s ULEZ policy was praised by C40 Cities when it announced in October 2021 that he was to become its next chair. The most recent opinion poll about the issue, conducted shortly after the latest expansion of the scheme, found that 44 per cent of Londoners support it compared with 33 per cent opposed.
London & Partners has joined forces with the GLA and London Councils in the New London Architecture initiative Opportunity London, which seeks to attract overseas investment in the capital against the backdrop of being sidelined by the government’s “levelling up” agenda and a generally unpromising public investment scenario.
Khan said he will be “banging the drum for London, showcasing our capital as the perfect destination for businesses to invest in and tourists to visit”. He described himself as “honoured” to have been asked to contribute to the UN summit and “determined for London to continue being a world leader in tackling the twin dangers of air pollution and the climate emergency so that we can deliver a brighter future”.
Laura Citron, chief executive of London & Partners, said, “London is the top city for ambitious US businesses when they expand internationally. They come because London has all the ingredients for growth – customers, capital, talent and a supportive ecosystem that really understands how to blend purpose and profit.”