Talk­ing Pol­i­tics

John Knight

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS -

Green Party PARIS, a city that has wit­nessed ter­ri­ble tragedy so re­cently, will be look­ing with hope for the fu­ture, when gov­ern­ments come to­gether next week for the UN Cli­mate Change Con­fer­ence.

They are set to sign a new global agree­ment to tackle cli­mate change, which will com­mit all na­tions to dif­fer­ent lev­els of re­spon­si­bil­ity de­pend­ing on their cir­cum­stances as well as their ne­go­ti­at­ing skills.

It is per­haps worth re­mem­ber­ing that much of the world’s con­flict stems from in­creas­ingly scarce re­sources re­sult­ing from cli­mate change.

As ever, the Green Party is call­ing out for real ac­tion. Yet in too many ar­eas the poli­cies be­ing pur­sued by our gov­ern­ment don’t make sense for our cli­mate.

They want to ex­pand air­ports, they are pro­mot­ing frack­ing, crack­ing down on re­new­able en­ergy, and fail­ing to di­vest from fos­sil fu­els. En­ergy Sec­re­tary Am­ber Rudd an­nounced that coal-fired pow­er­sta­tions are to be closed – to be re­placed with gas-pow­ered gen­er­a­tion, which will con­tinue to pump out huge quan­ti­ties of cli­mate-chang­ing emis­sions into the at­mos­phere. Mean­while her gov­ern­ment has com­mit­ted to sub­si­dis­ing out­ra­geously ex­pen­sive nu­clear power sta­tions while slash­ing sup­port for so­lar and wind.

All of this con­flicts with David Cameron and Ge­orge Os­borne’s de­clared cli­mate change ob­jec­tives; it doesn’t make cli­mate sense. Some gov­ern­ments at least are tak­ing cli­mate change se­ri­ously – Canada’s newly-elected Prime Min­is­ter Trudeau has in­vited Green Party leader El­iz­a­beth May to join their coun­try’s del­e­ga­tion to Paris.

The mea­sures we need to take to tackle cli­mate change – se­ri­ous in­vest­ment in renewables, a wide­spread pro­gramme to im­prove in­su­la­tion of homes and busi­nesses, pro­mot­ing strong lo­cal economies to re­duce the need for long-dis­tance trans­port (by land, air and sea) – would be good for our econ­omy and our so­ci­ety. By cre­at­ing a sus­tain­able so­ci­ety we have a huge op­por­tu­nity to trans­form our econ­omy and our lives for the bet­ter.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.