THE MPS' RESPONSES
Kingston & Surbiton, LibDem
1: Climate change is the most important issue facing us today and has been for some time. The consequences if we do not tackle this urgently and fully are potentially catastrophic for the whole human race and life on the earth. The problem to date has been persuading enough people to recognise the threat, and despite Al Gore et al., I remain alarmed at how few people still really understand the scale of the problem and how fast we need to move.
2: We must lead lead the debate and lead the action. If Britain does commit itself unilaterally to largescale reductions in greenhouse gas emissiomns say to the oft discussed 60% target by 2050 that will be an excellent start, if, at the same time, we set out a credible pathway, with policy changes starting now.
The list of policies is well known but worth repeating. Top comes the need to accelerate significantly the development of renewable energy and investment in energy conservation and efficiency, particularly for existing housing, where standards are still very low. We need to promote actively a decentralised energy system based more on microgeneration, using solar panels, small wind turbines and combined heat and power units to make buildings net generators of electricity reducing reliance on the centralised and relatively inefficient system of major power stations. The EU should lead too, with a much tougher Emissions Trading Scheme. Reducing emissions from transport is also an urgent priority, where we must improve public transport, reducing the environmental impact of motor transport and aviation, and reducing the need to travel in the first place.
We should also be prepared to look at even more radical measures, from personal carbon allowances to new international agencies with teeth, from a global emissions trading system to new WTO rules that link free trade and carbon reduction. The tough international challenge is to tackle climate change whilst making poverty history and that will require leadership that is consistent, principled and prepared to say tough things to friendly and less friendly countries alike.
3: Just as Government must lead the debate and lead by example, that's what all MPs who believes this is serious should be doing. Personally I've done some of the easier things. I've written about it, delivered leaflets about it, spoken about it and had high street stalls to campaign on climate change. I've got energy efficient light bulbs, have good loft insulation, have a LPG car and use the train to work. I now have to take this forward and urge the local council in showing leadership in our community.
1: There is no doubt that Climate Change is one of the most important international issues we face, both on a micro and a macro level.
2: Britain can and must be a world leader in Climate Change Policy. To do this we must ensure that our own policies are robust, long-reaching and coherent. It is sad to see that Carbon Emissions have risen over the past 10 years and if we are to act with any moral authority on the international stage we must fight to ensure that Britain's carbon emissions are significantly lowered through the passing of a Climate Change Bill, which I have advocated. We must also look hard at our energy supplies and our abilities to provide carbon neutral energy.
Increasing the information available to the public on this issue, including facts about microgeneration, recycling, the cutting down of energy usage, will be a vital step in the right direction.
3: Individually I am committed to lowering the amount of time I spend in my car, using public transport when in London. The simple things, like changing one's lightbulbs to energy-efficient models, ensuring electrical equipment is switched off at the mains, minimising unneccessary flights are also part of a long term increase in environmental conscious living.
Climate change is clearly a very important issue, and you would know my views about this based on the way I have voted in Parliament and on the Early Day Motions I have signed which I suggest you look at. It is also vitally important we persuade countries such as the US and China to agree to take measures too.
1: Extremely important.
2: Encourage and enable businesses and individuals to take measures to reduce production of greenhouse gases.
3: Encourage uptake of Government schemes. Insulation, double glazing, reduced energy light bulbs, heating thremostat lowered etc.
Ayrshire Central, Labour
Climate has always changed year on year and is unstoppable as a phenomenon. I am sceptical of the 'evidence' being presented as fact and do NOT believe that the interference by Government will have much affect on changing temperatures or rainfall.
Indeed as a gardener in the West of Scotland I look forward to warmer temperatures and more rain so will be doing nothing as an individual that can in any event be seen as tokenism to a perceived problem.
We all need to be much more serious about our commitment to this issue, which is why I have expressed my support for measures to be brought forward in a Climate Change Bill in this Parliament.
Lewisham West, Labour
Yes, I believe that climate change is an extremely important and pressing issue and I support the Government's attempts to both draw attention to and push for action on it prominence given to during our presidencies of both G8 & EU last year, response to today's report from Sir Nicholas Stern, etc.
3: Personally, I have adopted the Energy Savings Trust 10-point plan and included it in a recent constituency newsletter.
1: Climate change is one of the three great problems of our age, along with eradicating world poverty and facing down Islamic terrorism.
2: Britain can provide leadership and make changes to the way in which we try to reduce carbon use by both direct intervention and green taxation. The Defra Select Committee continues to investigate this.
3: I rarely use a car, cycling, walking and using public transport for most of the week. I am in the process of making major environmental improvements to my house and am encouraging my community to go carbon neutral.
Rochford and Southend East, Conservative
1: Climate change is one of the most important issues we face today. We have to be concerned with it right now so that we can deal with it properly when its effects really start manifesting themselves, but it's a huge challenge.
2: We need a Climate Change Bill setting out annual targets for reducing our carbon emissions. We must set a good example on the international stage so that countries like China and India can see our commitment and follow our lead. We must encourage innovation in the renewable energy sector, and set standards for new housing developments on energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources. Flooding is also a very real problem, and it's vital that we stop building on flood plains against the advice of the experts.
3: My wife and I are very conscious of minimising our impact on the environment and have adapted our home in that vein. I have switched over all our lightbulbs to low-energy bulbs. Later this week I will be having a home v isit from the Essex Energy Efficiency Advice Centre, so I will be taking their advice following their assessment of our current efficiency. I offset my carbon emissions with climatecare.org whenever I fly. My wife and I recycle and compost at home, and chose a cardboard (therefore recyclable) baby crib when our first child was born earlier this year. When buying a second car recently (necessary thanks to the arrival of our child), we specifically chose a small diesel car with low carbon emissions.
Rutland & Melton, Conservative; Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
1: Climate Change is one of the greatest challenges facing our generation. It is not just an environmental issue, but a social and economic one. There is now clear evidence of global warming; global temperatures rose by 0.6 degrees in the 20th century and the ten hottest years on record have all occurred since 1990. It is also true that the costs of global warming are increasing; extreme weather conditions are increasingly commonplace and global drought has doubled over the past 30 years and storm and flood losses in Britain cost £6.2 billion between 1998 and 2003, double the amount in the previous five years.
I believe the need for action is urgent; in May last year, the national science academies of each G8 nation, together with those from Brazil, China and India, signed a joint statement on the need for a global response to climate change. They agreed not just on the fact of global warming, but on the need for urgent action. They argued that "It is vital that all nations identify cost-effective steps that they can take now, to contribute to substantial and long term reduction in net global greenhouse gas emissions."
2: Britain can do a range of things to make a difference. Our energy review called for a tougher, but long-term cap and trade system. We believe that such a system must be tough and must ensure year on year reductions if we are to reduce our impact on the climate. And we believe that such a system must be long-term. This will create confidence in the price of carbon and encourage investment in low carbon energy technologies.
There are of course those who point out that the UK emits just 2 per cent of the world's carbon dioxide. They say that reducing our emissions will not make a difference. Currently the largest carbon emitter is the US, but in the years to come it will be overtaken by China. So clearly a global response is required. But for a global agreement to be reached, countries like the US and China will need to see that there are alternative energy technologies available to them. And that using these technologies and reducing their emissions need not destroy their economies.
As the evidence grows even China and the USA are going to have to take mitigation and adaptation policies seriously. If British companies can be at the forefront of these new areas now, then they can prosper selling their expertise abroad. Sensible policies to tackle those carbon emissions that are easiest to reduce do not have to be costly. The programme we set out with our Energy Review in July will not significantly raise costs on business, in fact by reforming the subsidies given by the current Government they should even reduce energy bills and make us a more competitive and less carbon intensive economy
There are those however who argue that setting a good example to China and the US will do no good. To them I say that it is already happening. China is cleaning up some of their coal fired plant and is investing in wind power. China has also joined with other Asian and Pacific countries to develop policies for addressing climate change. There is a will there. We just need to encourage it. So in our interim findings we set out what we believe Britain needs to do to effectively tackle climate change and prove that is need not cost the earth. We also set out the principles on which our findings were based. Most importantly we argued that meeting Britain's future energy needs requires a spirit of shared responsibility. We believe that the role for government is to set a framework which leads to emissions reductions and energy security, and provides a clear and stable long-term climate for investment. We believe that the role for industry is to develop the best and most affordable technologies within the framework set by government. And we argued that government should ensure a level playing field between alternative sources of energy supply. Alternative sources of energy should compete on the basis of how they contribute, affordably, to the strategic objectives of carbon reduction and energy security.
But while we are on the subject of level playing fields, there is something else important I want to say. And that is that we must push within Europe for a level playing field in any future phases of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. This year, after much argument and division within the Government, they decided on a carbon limit that was strict. We welcomed the fact that they were taking the threat of climate change seriously. But we remain hugely concerned that other countries in Europe are handing their businesses more permits than they emitted carbon last year. In any future phase of the ETS we will press for commitment on all sides to a level playing field.
3: I have reduced my car use and bought a new car with a significantly smaller engine. I use public transport where possible and try to avoid flying. At home I have installed energy saving light bulbs, I switch off electrical appliances when not in use and I unplug my mobile phone charger when not in use. In addition I have recently planted 20 trees.
1: Climate Change is one of the main challenges facing the globe. We have 10 years to put in place effective measures around the world to avert the consequences of global warming beyond the tipping point.
2: Britain can play a major role in building international consensus to ensure all countries take steps to achieve this. Britain has a unique leadership role, both within the European Union, with the United States and with India, China, Russia and Brazil, the key nations which need to engage fully to ensure success. In the meantime Britain can start to lead by example in reducing carbon emissions to meet the Kyoto targets.
3: I have committed to Lose a Tonne of carbon from my personal carbon footprint. In my constituency I am inviting opinion formers to a screening of An Inconvenient Truth next month to raise awareness.
Crewe & Nantwich, Labour
Tackling global warming is one of the biggest challenges we face. The House of Commons Transport Select Committee's 2004 investigation into Cars of the Future studied future possibilities for greener transport. Car use produces two types of emissions: carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases which contributes to climate change; and toxic air pollutants which are harmful to human health on the local scale. We found that many exciting technological developments have been promised for the cars of the future.
The Government has tried to encourage the use of cleaner and safer vehicle technology through the adoption of a variety of targets and incentives. We welcomed the Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies, however more investment is needed. Low carbon transport should be a major commercial opportunity for the UK.
The availability of surplus renewable energy will be vitally important for the road transport sector in its transition to low carbon or even zero carbon cars, whether or not this is a hydrogen-based system. We must address this supply issue with more urgency.
The Committee's report can be found on our website at www.parliament.uk/transcom an has further details on alternatives including Biofuels, Liquefied Petroleum Gas and the fuel cell industry, along with recommendations to the Department for Transport, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Treasury.
Politicians, among others, often talk about wanting to change the world. Climate change is one way we cannot afford the world to change. Arresting this threat is a planetary imperative.
Liverpool, Garston, Labour
1: Climate Change is one of, if not, the most pressing challenge the world faces. The UK has placed this at the top of its agenda with the UK leading the G8 and EU on this issue. The Prime Minister has made a number of speeches on this with words to this effect.
2: This Government is making a difference. We have a balanced package of measures Climate Change Levy, Renewables Obligations, Emissions Trading Schemes, grants, capital allowances, R&D tax credit and the fuel duty reduction for biofuels, for example that has allowed us to break the link between wealth creation and harmful emissions. Now the challenge is to secure a step-change in behaviour (by individuals, businesses and transport users) and to develop technologies that will allow us to go further is cutting emissions. It is not just a challenge for the UK but for every country around the world.
3: Personally, I take the 'common sense' measures to reduce my energy consumption. For example, I do not leave electrical items on standby, I switch off lights when they are not needed and I only put the required amount of water into the kettle.
1: I believe this is the most important issue facing our generation.Failure to act would have devastating consequences for future generations.
2: Britain must demonstrate that it is doing its fair share to tackle GHGs. Stern sets out the environmental and economic imperatives for doing this. We must use what ever international influence we have to put this issue at the top of the international agenda.
3: When first elected as an MP I ntroduced a private members bill on energy efficiency in domestic homes. This was the forerunner to the energy audit contained in sellers packs which the government sadly ditched from the housing bill. In my second year I introduced two bills both of which were torpedoed by the Tories in what became known as the Friday morning killing fields. I also led a debate on the need to reduce the energy wasted in commercial buildings.
Recently I have asked schools to send out letters to all of pupils in my constituency (on recycled paper) highlighting the Energy Saving Trust's 10 point plan for cutting energy consumption in the home. I asked them to take them home and discuss ways of saving energy and cutting fuel bills. The main aim of this exercise is to engage with young people and get them thinking about the long term consequences of climate change for their lives. I have also done an assembly in one secondary school and have been invited to talk to another sixth form. I am in discussions with a company that supplies light bulbs to do an energy awareness campaign with schools. I am also consulting schools about what they want to see in the climate change bill. I believe that the bill is an excellent opportunity for the government to engage people, particularly young people in the debate about the future of our planet and how we behave in relation to the environment.
And yes I have done all of the things on the ten point plan. I have turned our heating down by one degree and I have not yet had any complaints from my family, so I assume they have not noticed.
Liverpool, Riverside, Labour
Climate Change is a very important issue for the Government. Climate change is the one of the most pressing challenges that the world faces. We will continue to lead internationally on climate change, and to strive for wider acceptance of the science and the steps needed to combat the problem. We will look beyond Kyoto and promote an international dialogue to reach agreement on the long-term goals and action needed to stabilise the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. We will also work for effective international action to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The UK has already met its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. We remain committed to achieving a 20 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions on 1990 levels by 2010. A 60 per cent reduction by 2050 remains necessary and achievable.
In Europe we will seek agreement to extend the EU Emissions Trading scheme and provide certainty for business, and enhance our efforts with our EU partners to help India, China and other developing countries evolve as low-carbon economies.
Proposals for legally binding annual targets are flawed. Emissions fluctuate from year to year due to factors outside the Government's control, such as the weather and the prices of different fuels, as well as the economic cycle. That is why international climate change policy frameworks such as the Kyoto Protocol and EU Emissions Trading Scheme are currently based on five-year phases. To help show concern for this issue I have signed EDM 178, concerning Climate Change; EDM 391, concerning Climate Change and Sustainable Energy; and EDM 2378, concerning Climate Change for business.
Sunderland North, Labour
1: Absolutely paramount if we are not to destroy the planet for all life forms let alone mankind.
2: Curtail unnecessary travel, improve heat loss in buildings and manufacturing, impress the public with the gravity of the situation. Increase move away from fossil fuels to various renewable energy resources. Plant more trees on unproductive land which could be the source of biofuels. Walk more, cycle more. Improve public transport so it becomes more desirable than car use. Not just leave this issue to "market forces" but intervene positively. The cost will be enormous but the only alternative to Earth becoming another Venus. Spread the word internationally in every way even though this will conflict with the present obsession with the philosophy of globalisation. There are many other initiatives too numerous for me to list.
3: At a political level I was successful about 18 months ago in getting my paper on "sustainable energy sources" accepted by the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly. It stresses a move away from fossil fuels. Indeed I am to address the National Assembly of Quebec on Friday of this week on this subject. I attend and contribute to endless meetings at Westminster on this subject. At constituency level I have been active in promoting home insulation initiatives and stress the issue to business leaders etc. This subject I believe concerns the public I meet with and stress that EVERYONE can make a positive contribution because I believe that initially the accumulation of "little things" such as low power lighting, switching off electrical apparatus, the use of domestic wind turbines and power generating domestic boilers can accumulate into a large saving of energy used.
Ribble Valley, Conservative
1: Climate Change is simply the biggest concern that we as a planet face. There are no quick fixes to the problem, and the solutions will affect the way that we live our lives, do business, and get from A to B. The changes we will have to make are nothing to the consequences of unchecked global warming. If we want to continue living on this fantastic planet, if we want our children to have a future, and their children to experience the wonders of this world we must act now, and act quickly.
2: Britain should be a world leader when it comes to Climate Change. The political will in all the major parties is there to effect change on a massive scale, and we must use our voice on the G8, at the UN, in the EU, and as a trusted ally to America, to push further and faster for action to be taken.
We should engage with rapidly growing countries such as India and China so that they are taking Climate Change seriously before their industries get imbedded, and change is too costly to consider. There is no reason why we cannot see benefits from taking action on this crucial topic we can be the country that champions innovation in industry, rewarding those that are the best carbon-neutral performers with tax-breaks. An innovative society should embrace this challenge and use it to its advantage.
On a community level, Councils should lead the way in recycling. We should increase and make better public transport to take people away from their cars. VAT should be removed from energy saving devices such as light-bulbs, and subsidies increased on devices such as solar panels for homes. People should be made aware of just how much energy is wasted by keeping devices on standby in the home the Government should be sending simple messages like this out now.
3: On a personal level, I am trying to make the small changes in my life that add up to a big difference overall. I am careful about leaving items on standby, restrict my driving as much as possible, have switched lightbulbs in my home to more energy efficient options, and try to eat locally sourced food.
Bexleyheath and Crayford, Conservative
1: Climate change is one of the most important challenges the country faces in the next century, and we must act now to avoid catastrophic consequences in the future. We have real problems with carbon emissions and waste recycling, and the Government and individuals need to do more to counteract climate change.
2: The Government must take leadership on this issue and introduce a climate change bill, so that reductions of 3% per year for carbon emissions can be delivered in an independent and statutory framework. We must also encourage more people to recycle more and make fewer car journeys.
3: As my constituency is close to Westminster, I use the train to travel to Parliament as often as possible. We actively recycle refuse at my house and are endeavouring to increase energy efficiency at home. I have encouraged and supported environmental projects in my constituency. Also, I have opposed the Belvedere waste to energy incinerator and continue to oppose the Thames Gateway Bridge planning application, both of which would increase traffic and pollution in our area.
1: In the long term, this may be the single most important question facing mankind. If our planet dies through overheating, we shall all die with it.
2: I believe that as well taking steps to reduce our own production of greenhouse gases, we should provide aid and advice to developing industrial giants such as China and India to reduce their production of greenhouse gases which far outstrip our own. And we should continue to pressure the United States to play their part too.
3: We in Lichfield have lead the way in recycling. Last year we were the number one council in England to recycle all our rubbish and there is more that we can do. For my part, I am buying a relatively low emissions car and always make sure that when I am away, my TV and computers and so on are switched off and are not on standby which still wastes power.
1: A major concern, coupled with energy security.
2: Britain has a big influence internationally, and we should be using it in fora such as the UN, EU, G8 and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We should encourage, and lead on, investment in hydrogen fuel cell and other cleaner alternative energy technologies.
3: I meet my local Friends of the Earth group regularly. I fully support Sevenoaks District and Kent County Councils in their recycling initiatives. As a family we are all aware of the implications of climate change; we try to conserve water and energy wherever possible; we use public transport where we can; and we share cars wherever possible on school runs.
Westmorland and Lonsdale, LibDem
1: Staggeringly important. Climate Change is a threat to civilisation as great as the threat of nuclear war that dominated the thinking of billions of people and the budgets of many countries for forty years. This threat won't be solved by a simple standing down of one side, it will only be solved by radical and sometimes painful action. Climate change will have and is already having a disproportionate effect on the poorest people on the planet. It is unconscionable that we fail to act.
2: Introduce a radical action plan to tackle climate change. This would be best achieved through an Act of Parliament which instituted an annual process of enforcing targets for all government departments and the private sector to ensure reduced emissions. Those targets if they are to be meaningful will be difficult to achieve and will involve many citizens having to seriously alter their lifestyles. Politically it will be difficult, but it is nontheless essential.
3: I am running a climate change campaign through local schools, colleges and youth groups. My plan is to energise young people to educate their households and to bring them on board to support a radical climate change bill.
On a personal level, we're doing all the usual things in our household including using energy saving lightbulbs, switching off all appliances when not in use, we've scaled down to one car and the plan for next year is to go on holiday by boat and road, not by air travel.
Hornsey & Wood Green, Labour
1: I believe that Climate Change is the greatest threat to mankind. It is a greater threat than terrorism, nuclear weapons and war. That is why my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I support a Climate Change Bill which would set binding, independently monitored, annual targets for reducing emissions. I also support the 'green tax switch' the Lib Dems are advocating, which punishes the polluter by increasing green taxes on high emission cars and aircraft.
2: Britain is only responsible for 2% of global emissions, but we are lucky enough to be in position to make a difference we could help lead the global battle against Climate Change. We must fulfil our international moral obligation by cutting our own emissions, thus showing other countries the way forward. We must also use our position within the world to lead international negotiations to achieve international agreements on cutting emissions. The EU led on Kyoto, and must do so again.
3: I have taken every opportunity to try to make Haringey more 'green'. I have campaigned together with local LibDem colleagues for vastly better recycling successfully and am currently campaigning for business recycling to be introduced. I am also currently running a campaign, through leaflets and my website, to use Al Gore's brilliant film 'The Inconvenient Truth' to inform my constituents about what changes they can make in their individual lives to help combat Climate Change. I hope to persuade people that it isn't about wearing a hair shirt but about each of us making a few changes within our own life patterns whether that is not using the car as much, turning off lights and standby's or using trains rather than planes for holidays.
Bath, LibDem, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
1: The Liberal Democrats agree that Climate Change is, as the Government's Chief Scientist Sir David King, has said, the greatest threat to mankind, even greater in the long term than terrorism. That is why the Liberal Democrats support a Climate Change Bill which would set binding, independently monitored, annual targets for reducing emissions.
However, setting targets is not enough and there need to be clear policy measures to achieve these reductions. That is why the Lib Dems are promoting the "green tax switch" to make the polluter pay by increasing green taxes on new high emission vehicles and aircraft, whilst reducing income taxes elsewhere. This is the first major step in a comprehensive plan to cut carbon emissions across the economy currently being worked on by the largest policy commission ever set up by the Lib Dems and which will report to next year's autumn conference.
2: Britain may contribute only 2% of global emissions, but we need to establish our good faith by practising what we preach and taking a decisive lead in two ways. First, by cutting our emissions we will be meeting what is surely a moral international obligation and show other countries the way forward, as well as bringing economic benefits that will accrue from being at the forefront of new green technologies; and secondly by using our position within the world to lead international negotiations to achieve international agreements on cutting emissions. The EU led on Kyoto, and can do so again.
3: Measures I have taken in my home include: up-grading of loft installation; installation, before required, of combi gas boiler; minimising use of tumble drier washing lines are very adequate; switching off electrical appliances (and not using stand by)[ an issue I have pursued in parliamentary questions]; using ecco kettle; purchasing white goods with good energy ratings and using low energy bulbs where possible. In addition I have minimised car use (opting for public transport when possible) and purchased trees to off-set plane journeys. I used my Private Member's Bill opportunity to see the Road Traffic Reduction Act through parliament.
2: Set personal targets to be achieved over a set timespan
3: I have been working with Matt Owen and Johan Eliasch to establish COOL EARTH. The aim is to form a mass movement of individuals world-wide who pay rent in a capitalised form so that rain-forest countries have a new form of investment which makes illegal logging uneconomic. For further detais please see: www.coolearth.org
Stoke-on-Trent Central, Labour
1: There is no issue that is more important, now and for the foreseeable future. If we fail to change the way we live, individually and collectively, we risk damaging the balance of the world's environment. That will have a devastating impact on this planet: on mankind (our economies; mass migrations; starvation) and on the world's flora and fauna, with similar knock-on effects.
2: As a nation we can begin by giving leadership in UN, WTO, using what influence we have and leading by example.We can invest more heavily and urgently in new technologies (alternative energy, water conservation etc); we can cut back drastically on air and road transport, and promote forms of transport that pollute less. Above all we can launch a major public education programme to help people to see how thay can contribute and make a difference, with practical incentives in the form of taxation etc.
3: This is the most difficult. In the past I have done far too little. I plan to change my car, to recycle more rigorously, to do more shopping locally, to buy less imported fruit and veg. To find out who could do an energy audit on my home. I am talking to Stoke City Council about how they can give a stronger local lead. I look forward to reading this survey and to getting more and better ideas.
Stoke-on-Trent South, Labour
1: Climate change and global terrorism are probably the two greatest challenges facing us at this time. As the Stern Report and the Rough Guide make clear, climate change will affect every aspect of our lives whether it is through the impact on cities through flooding, or adverse agricultural impact, or the spread of pests and disease, to name but three. While the earth will, I'm sure, adapt to increased CO2 levels and increased temperatures the question is at what cost to humanity and some of the most vulnerable people at that.
2: The climate change problem doesn't have a quick fix. The UK can play a significant part through promoting R&D into low-carbon technologies and carbon sequestration; encouraging businesses to be world-leaders in this field. Individuals, organisations and governments can play an active role in reducing emissions, pollutants, and being more energy efficient. For example, UK Government can lead the way by requiring all new vehicles from, say, 2016 to meet almost zero carbon emission standards.
3: I am already replacing blown light-bulbs with energy efficient ones. I have turned down thermostats as recommended. I try to use the train in preference to my car and when my car needs replacing I will look at buying the most eco-friendly one I can. The chapter in the Rough Guide entitled 'What you can do' should be required reading!
Newport West, Labour
1: The giant priorities of politics for the next decade are global warming, ending rigged world trade and the waste and slaughter of wars. I am horrified at the reports of the imminence of global calamities that could make our world uninhabitable. Continuing to foul our environment could raise sea levels by 7 meters in 15 years. Timid and blinkered politicians are failing. Politicians have a duty to lead and educate public opinion and not to pander to its lowest common denominator of ignorance and prejudice. Courage and vision of a high order is essential.
Our donkey-brained leaders could take us over the precipice. We need a paradigm shift to change our fundamental assumption on the way we live and how we run our economies. Action should be massive and swift. The alternative is to continue stealing a sustainable human habitat from our grandchildren.
2: There is no shortage of practical remedies. We cannot tax aircraft fuel but we can and must tax their emissions as the greatest single source of pollution. An immediate windfall tax on oil and gas producers could be invested in renewables. We should legislate that new buildings should self-generate energy and recycle their own water. Some cities in the world already do.
3: I was the Rapporteur to the Council of Europe for a Report to end the harmful environmental effects of the Common Agricultural Policy. An issue I have pursued with vigour in the House of Commons, with Government and in Europe. As a Member of the Environmental Audit Committee until last year I worked on many different areas of climate change and its contributing causes.
There are thousands of words on my website which relate to my fears for our environment and what we can do to alleviate this, including my submission to the Energy Review.
In Newport we are working toward a tidal barrage in the Seven Estuary, this is not a perfect solution but far less harmful than our current energy production techniques. I have supported the excellent work of Newport Wastesavers, and Sims (Europe's largest fridge recycling site). I am also in regular contact with Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace to discuss there concerns. Most recently I wrote to the Government asking for a Climate Change Bill in the next Parliament and signed the Big Ask campaign statement. All my office waste, paper, stamps, cartridges and old equipment are recycled and last year for the first time I ran a Carbon Neutral election campaign.
2: Set a good example by carrying out the measures in the Stern Report and legislating on carbon emissions.
3: I am trying to reduce my own carbon footprint by putting low-energy light bulbs in my home and office; turning down the heating; saving grey water; recycling and using electrical appliances sparingly. In the longer term I am looking at getting condensing boilers; fitting solar panels and, most difficult of all, changing my car. I am trying to encourage my constituents to do the same and, most importantly, to become aware of the environmental cost of our actions.
1: It is a very important concern
2: Britain can contribute by reducing CO2 emissions and play its small part here, but it can play a much bugger role in using our example to encourage others EU, US to do the same. We can also play a key role in developing cleaner, greener technologies.
3: Encouraged businesses to sign up to the Worcestershire Climate Change Pledge (see my website www.michaelfoster.co.uk and look under news achives; supported new primary school building with ground source heating; working with Worcester Bosch to install solar panels to local secondary school; even growing home grown crops to eat, reducing transport emissions.
1: Climate change is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges facing the people of this country and indeed the populations of our international neighbours. Having served on the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) in the previous Parliament this made me particularly aware of this threat to our collective future.
2: I believe we now need a Climate Change Bill which would contribute to real reductions in UK emissions. We all have to play our part in this and ultimately as this is a global problem it will require a global solution including a binding treaty which would be tougher than Kyoto and which would include countries like China an the USA.Reuse content