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.