Sept 2019 - The Climate Emergency

Published in Charlbury Chronicle September 2019

“UK action to curb greenhouse gas emissions is lagging far behind what is needed, even to meet previous, less stringent, emissions targets. Over the past year, the Government has delivered just 1 of 25 critical policies needed to get emissions reductions back on track.” Committee on Climate Change, July 2019

In May, Parliament declared an Environment and Climate Emergency. Now more than half the local government councils in the UK have declared a climate emergency too and this figure is growing. These declarations should focus all their decisions and policies to reduce emissions within their areas to help avert further climate change.

We are witnessing the effects of climate change today in the UK. Quite simply, warmer air holds more water vapour, so when it does rain it can be torrential – witness the damage in Yorkshire in July. And this is just the consequence of current CO2 levels, what will it be like as they continue to increase?

The CCC’s progress report to Parliament emphasises the need for the public to be fully engaged in the UK’s net zero transition. Over half the emission cuts need people to do things differently. We could immediately make everyday choices now, today, that are more sustainable but it is hard to resist the subtle advertising all around us to carry on life as normal. The government needs to make it easier for each of us to make better choices, they need to pass new laws, change taxation policy etc, to actively promote sustainable choices. We need to give them the mandate to make those hard choices for us. Politicians respond to public opinion and the recent demonstrations by school children anxious about their future and the world they will inherit gives that message loud and clear. We need to support them.

Charlbury Green Hub