One of the greatest challenges facing our world today is climate change. I believe that if we fail to take decisive action in the next few years our grandchildren will be asking us despairingly “What were you thinking?”
The recent UN-sponsored IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report talked of the “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” of global warming. 97% of climate experts agree that humans are causing it. Greenhouse gases are rising faster than ever before, and no country has a plan in place sufficient to keep warming below the globally agreed limit of 2°C.
We have the knowledge, skills and technology to prevent the worst effects of climate change. What we need is global willpower. I believe the UK needs to be at the forefront of collective action. Labour will go to the Paris summit with an aggressively positive agenda.
David Cameron has betrayed his promise to lead ‘the greenest government ever’. His flagship Green Deal has failed. Fuel poverty has soared. The Tory MP for the Colne Valley Constituency, Jason McCartney, has been ambiguous at best in his support for climate change measures.
I will not be ambiguous. I understand the challenge that we face and will support Labour’s policies to:
1 - Make Britain a world leader in low-carbon technology and green jobs With the right investment this could be hugely valuable in our region.
2 - Set a legal target to decarbonise electricity generation by 2030 We are committed to carbon budgets.
3 - Strengthen the Green Investment Bank by giving it borrowing powers
4 - Insulate 5 million homes over the next 10 years
The UK’s homes are some of the least energy-efficient in Europe. The stone houses in West Yorkshire are particularly energy inefficient. In light of this, I would fight to ensure that the Colne Valley Constituency receives a generous allocation of energy efficiency funds.
According to the Public Attitudes Tracker Survey (conducted by the Department of Energy and Climate Change), 82% of the UK public support renewable energy, such as wind, solar and wave-power. I believe we should explore every option for increasing our power generation from renewable sources.