So New York plans to follow Oslo, Singapore and London in introducing a “Congestion Charge” for driving into the city.

Michael Bloomberg, the city’s mayor, has unveiled plans for a congestion charge on cars entering the busiest parts of Manhattan. Compared with London’s $16, New York’s proposed charge will be a snip at $8.

Pledging to make New York “a brighter, healthier and more economically prosperous city”, Mr Bloomberg couched the charge in terms of climate change. “The science is there,” he said. “It’s time to stop debating it and start dealing with it.”

New York’s plans were introduced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California, who presented himself as an “environmental warrior”, a term he used to describe Mr Bloomberg. With the proposals, said Mr Schwarzenegger, “New York leaps to the forefront of cities dedicated to attacking climate change and protecting our environment”.

The announcement came with a video endorsement from Tony Blair. “Your announcement will mark out New York as a global leader in the fight against climate change,” he said, describing it as “a great act of leadership”.

It was London’s Mayor Ken Livingstone that introduced the Congestion charge, not Blair. If my memory serves me right Blair was against it at the time…