THE MPS' RESPONSES
North Thanet, Conservative
1: Climate change is of great probably paramount -importance.
2: Whether the UK can make a significant change unilaterally is questionable but at a domestic level that is not an excuse for not trying. I want to promote the construction of environmentally sensitive properties so that all of the new homes that Mr. Prescott wants to smother the South East in (whether social or commercial) conform to new and much higher standards of energy and water conservation and waste disposal.
3: At home we are making a much greater effort to conserve energy, to re-use water (for the garden)and to re-cycle household waste.
Bethnal Green & Bow, RESPECT; Leader, RESPECT Party
1: The world is facing the possibility of irreversible and disastrous climate change, imposed upon the poorest in society by the richest. If millions are not to suffer starvation and death brought about by the actions of the big corporations we need to act drastically now. I know that this will not be easy , but the alternative, for future generations, and for today's global poor, is too awful to contemplate.
2: There are many things that Britain can do to make a difference but I do not believe that the solutions lie within the market. While individual action is important, the lions share of the responsibility lies with Government to provide the infrastructure to enable us all to cut our emissions by the required amount.
The Government should:
Invest massively in renewable energy.
Renationalise and invest in a low energy public transport system which is more appealing than travel by private car!
Cancel the road building programme!
Freeze airport expansion.
Massively invest in energy efficiency measures for homes and public buildings.
Pass immediate legislation to ensure that all new buildings are carbon neutral and that all new developments incorporate work places, leisure facilities, schools, health care facilities, places of worship and shops, obviating the need to drive!
Provide irresistible incentives for the production and retail of locally grown produce. End the absurdity that is food miles!
Be bold with recycling, aim for zero waste!
Penalise corporate polluters!
Invest in global reforestation projects!
Invest in projects to encourage developing nations to grow sustainably!
Give massive aid to those countries suffering the severest effects, after all it is the developed worlds fault not theirs!
Work with other nations to ensure that the solutions are implemented globally.
3: I was one of the first MPs to write to Tony Blair and David Milliband in support of the Climate Change Bill to reduce the UKs annual greenhouse gas emissions by 3% year on year. I campaign against climate change whenever I can. I recently dedicated a whole programme of my regular radio show on Talk Sport to the issue. The E in RESPECT stands for Environment. We are very committed to the global movement against Climate Change, our members have worked hard to help build the movement and our local Councillors press hard for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions at a local level.
1: Climate Change is the most important issue of a global dimension that all of us, and not politicians and public commentators, have to deal with. It is not just an environmental issue, but a political, social and economic one as well.
2: In Britain, we must cut our own emissions and encourage this through a Climate Change Bill. We all, but especially the Government (Labour or Conservative) needs to lead by example, by reducing its own energy use, using as far as practicable renewable energy sources, and promoting non-polluting technologies. I want us to move increasingly towards a low carbon economy. We need to be brave if we are to lead an international effort to tackle climate change and to secure world-wide agreement. The Stern Report is there for us all to act on and we must.
3: In London we bike or use public transport whenever possible although in rural Leicestershire this is not a practical alternative. In London this summer we have syphoned kitchen, bath and shower water onto the garden rather than let it go down the drain and do not pull the chain every time we have a pee at night (probably too much detail there). We also have inflated "bricks" in the loo cisterns to reduce the volume of water flushed down the loo. We have energy saving bulbs, fully insulated lofts and we recycle as much plastic, paper, cardboard and glass as the local authorities will accommodate. We have compost heaps in both London and Leicestershire onto which we put vegetable waste and all garden waste. We also recycle computer printing cartridges. My Harborough Conservative Association office is planting trees in a local arboretum to compensate for its carbon use and I have donated trees to village millennium projects.
St Ives, LibDem
1: My Liberal Democrat Parliamentary colleagues and I 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 we 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. We 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 our policy commission 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 acrue 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: Starting at home, I do what I can. As a household in a rural area with three people with driving licences, I think we do well to manage as a family with only one family car. When I can (about 15 to 20 times per annum) I cycle to my own office (10 miles away) and back rather than drive. When at home I prefer to use the bike than the car for short journeys.
I have always promoted strong green policies within my constituency and have campaigned for Cornwall to become the exemplar "Green Peninsula" within the UK. Indeed, I will be holding a public meeting within the constituency to promote this initiative again in the New Year.
The Party has recently launched a local campaign to highlight the connection between our carbon footprints, climate change and rising sea levels and less predictable weather patterns which are causing increasing problems to the coastline around my West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency.
I have also commented on the theme of "Dear God, please make me 'green'... but not yet" in various periodicals.
1: I believe that climate change is a major concern. I have no doubt that we need to act, and act quickly if we are to prevent some of the direr predictions of the possible effects of climate change becoming a reality.
2: We can obviously look at our own policies on energy generation, improving energy efficiency, and what we can do as a nation to reduce carbon emissions. We also need to aim for much better international agreements, and especially where we can perhaps help some of the fast developing nations to avoid potential large increases in emissions. For example, can we persuade China to invest in clean coal technology, on which we have some real expertise, if they are going to go ahead with more coal burning power stations.
3: Personally I have committed myself to reduce my own carbon emissions by 25% by 2010. I have installed a new condensing boiler recently, and use low energy light bulbs. Later this month I am speaking at a public meeting in my constituency on climate change. I have encouraged people to take up energy efficiency measures.
Dr Ian Gibson
Labour, Norwich North
1: Climate Change is a key concern for all of us, as I have known for many years having researched with Environmental Sciences, now the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, based at the University of East Anglia.
2: We should tackle the USA and other countries to take joint action and drive a hard bargain over renewable energy sources. Also we should introduce new building regulations so that all newly built homes are forced to incorporate measures to help reduce climate change. We need more homes and warm homes.
3: I rarely use the car and walk to as many appointments as possible. At home we use energy saving bulbs as well as composting and recycling paper and glassware. I often speak out on the issue and am always ready to lend my support to campaigns and demonstrations. I encourage my constituents to all do their bit whenever I can.
1: Climate Change is extremely important. It has been described as the greatest threat to mankind. I am not sure that I would put it quite that way bit would suggest that it is the greatest threat to life as we know it. This is why the Liberal Democrats support a Climate Change Bill which would set binding, independently monitored, annual targets for reducing emissions. There also needs 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. I get depressed by the fact that there is an increasing acknowledgement of the problem but not the solutions.
2: Britain should set a lead 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 come 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.
3: Well, I planned to switch to a green energy tariff until I realised that the other half had tied us in to a BT deal. I have installed some low energy light bulbs and already have cavity wall insulation and loft insulation. I use Public transport to travel to Westminster and when I am in London but poor transport links in the constituency make it difficult but I do try and increase the passenger load wherever possible. I am also making an effort to switch off appliances not in use, use the tumble dryer and dishwasher less and when renewing appliances I buy the most environmentally efficient model that I can afford. It might not sound a lot but if everybody does it it will make a difference.
Plymouth, Sutton, Labour
1: Climate change is one of the most important things that we face as a species and therefore essential for world governments to face up to their responsibilities.
2: Britain can do lots, including the work done already, but also on developing more along the lines of Energy Savings Week about personal usage. I also think there is more that we can do to help business to change their ways and to develop other forms of power such as wind and wave. As a nation we also hold considerable influence amongst other countries, both developing and fledgling and as this is a problem for the world I am pleased that we can use our famed diplomacy to get both words and actions agreed.
Below is an excerpt of a speech made by Tony Blair last March in New Zealand at the Climate Change and Governance Conference. I think this shows our commitment to playing a major part on the world stage, but also recognises the difficulties we face; difficulties which I am sure you are aware of in terms of the US, China and India in particular.
I think in terms of the long term future there is no issue that is more important than climate change. And I suppose my top line of thought on this is that Kyoto and the Kyoto Treaty was an extraordinary achievement, but if we are to make a real impact on tackling the menace of climate change then we have to go far further. And I don't believe that we can wait 5 years to conclude a new agreement, I think we have got to do it much more quickly than that, and I think that agreement has got to have at its heart a goal to stabilise climate change, and I also believe that such an agreement, if it is going to be successful, has got to include all the major countries of the world, and that includes the major developing economies of China and India and also the United States of America as the principal developed economy in the world. And what I would like to see is the international community mobilised over this coming period of time. We have got the G8 in St Petersburg in Russia, we have then got the Gleneagles G8 Plus 5 dialogue that will be happening now in Mexico in September, but I think we have got to set a very bold ambition for the next stage of this, and that is to move as quickly as possible to a goal to stabilise climate change, to do so with the agreement not just of the signatories to the Kyoto Treaty, but all the major economies now and in the future, and that means in particular the United States, China and India. And I think if we are able to do that and create a framework that then gives business and industry, as well as national governments, some certainty as to the direction for the world, then I think we have got a prospect of tackling this challenge. But I think it is urgent and I think all the latest signs indicate that the problem is not getting better, it is getting worse and more rapidly.
3: I walk and use the bus whenever possible, and follow the usual rules such as turning down thermostats, using energy efficient light bulbs, only boiling the water I need, etc.
I helped found the Energy Advice Centre in Plymouth and regularly publicise with them (including being a keynote speaker at their Conferences) the availability of advice and help for low income and disabled people to install energy efficient products.
I was the first MP to promote the Warm Homes Bill after the 1997 election as a presentation bill and came up with the idea of holding hearings to demonstrate how savings made by investing in energy efficiency could be paid for over time by savings in other directions eg health spending.. More recently I have been focussing on water poverty and efficiency but continue to sign EDMs and lobby for climate change to be kept high on the agenda. I have been part of the Co-operative Party campaign to promote two private members bills Climate Change and Sustainable Energy, and the Management of Energy in Buildings which were accepted by the Government at 2nd reading and the curretn Big Ask campaign which they are a eading sponsor of.
Wythenshawe and Sale East, Labour
1: The consequences of climate change are finally receiving the attention they deserve.
2: It is Government's job to make sure we meet our international obligations and build sustainability into every public policy and activity.
3: I am personally committed to making greater use of recycling but believe there is much more we could do to make our own homes and public buildings more energy efficient. We should not underestimate the difference we can make at the individual level.
Scarborough & Whitby, Conservative
1: Climate change is probably issue number 2 after the NHS for me at the moment.
2: We must adopt market driven ways of reducing CO?. For example by widening the EU emissions trading system. Each person could carry out a personal CO? audit on a website set up for this purpose.
3: I have a green business on my farm carrying out green burials. This is reducing the amount of CO2 produced by cremation. I have also signed a 40 tonne contract to produce bio-diesel on the farm. We have planted several thousand trees on the farm as a carbon sink.
Surrey Heath, Conservative
1: How we deal with climate change is one of the principal challenges policy-makers face. We have a duty to the next generation to protect our planet.
2: The UK can help broker international action, give a lead on the development of new technology, help refine improved carbon trading and take steps to entrench year-on-year reductions in emmissions.
3: I very rarely fly, I try to ensure I share car journeys wherever possible, and I am trying very hard to reduce domestic energy consumption
North Wiltshire, Conservative
1: Climate Change is one of the gravest challenges facing the world today. It is an issue with widespread implications environmental, social and economic.
2: In Britain, we must start by cutting our own CO? emissions. I believe the proposed Climate Change Bill would help this, as it would specifically require the Government to provide an annual report on emissions and set clear targets. I think Government should lead by example, cutting its own energy use, converting to renewable energy sources, and using its enormous buying power to foster non-polluting technologies. In the longer-term, we need to shift to a low-carbon economy and take a lead internationally to achieve a global system for tackling climate change.
3: I would like to find ways to cut personal carbon emissions by using my car less, by installing energy efficient light bulbs and other low carbon products, by switching off electrical appliances when not using them, and by recycling and composting waste. I shall be encouraging my constituents to adopt these measures too.
Epsom & Ewell, Conservative; Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
1: Extremely important. We have a duty to protect the environment for the sake of our children and of future generations. We have no option but to take action to curb carbon dioxide emissions.
2: Britain cannot halt climate change alone but if we do not set an example then how can we expect others to do the same. We are looking at a range of policy options that will impact on the problem. In my own area, transport, we have set a clear direction for our policy work towards the reduction of average emissions from new cars from 170 g/km now to 100g/kn in 2022, and for all cars by 2030. We will set out in detail how we aim to achieve this, and I hope the Government will adopt a similar strategy.
3: On a personal basis, I have started work to reduce the emissions from my own activities. I offset any flights I take and all of my, and my family's car use. I have, through a variety of improvements including low energy electrical items, reduced electricity consumption by a third, and the remainder is sourced from a supplier who uses hydro-electric power. My next project will, subject to planning, be the installation of a small wind turbine.
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. We are close to a tipping point on climate change: if we don't cut emissions soon, we will irrevocably alter our climate. The Earth could rise by 6 degrees by the end of the century: a greater jump in temperature than from the last ice age until now. We don't know what all the effects will be, but that is precisely the point. We can't play dice with the future of our planet.
2: In Britain, we must start by cutting our own emissions. A Climate Change Bill would help this. We need Government to lead by example, cutting its own energy use, converting to renewable energy sources, and using its enormous buying power to foster non-polluting technologies. Then we need long-term policies to create a framework for a shift to a low carbon economy. Only once we have put our own house in order, will we have the moral authority to lead an international effort to achieve a fair, robust, global system for tackling climate change. In the end, hard though it will be to secure, there must be a global agreement.
3: I have installed energy efficient bulbs at home. I recycle and compost. I take public transport wherever possible. I have reduced the temperature on central heating thermostats. I buy local food wherever possible.
My involvement as an environmental campaigner goes back a long way, to my student days when we ran a shopping-centre campaign "Say no to a paper bag"(paper bags in those days, not plastic bags!!) In the days before the revelations about climate change, the issues then were safeguarding the world's finite resources and cutting down on pollution. Many of the solutions are the same and our knowledge about climate change adds a greater urgency.
I am delighted that there is now a much wider consciousness of climate change and was pleased to sign up last year to the pledge to cut my contribution to global emissions by 2: 5% over five years. So this is what I'm doing.
For the past few years I have been growing my own vegetables just redeveloping the skills that were universal in our grandparents' time. As well as the traditional ways of getting plants started early in the season by growing them indoors or under glass, I have recently taken up the challenge of tying to extend the season with some later sowings and then covering plants against Autumn frosts and getting crops late into November. My all-the-year round crops include leaf beet and rocket. When shopping I support local produce as much as possible and choose items that have travelled less far.
My home: Not so long ago I moved in to a traditional semi, to which little had been done since it was built. I have replaced the draughty old windows so there is no longer a gale blowing through, and I am now waiting for the builder to get started on cavity wall insulation, damp-proof course and re-roofing with proper felt-backing whereas currently you can see daylight through the slates! I seem to have spent my life, first with my parents, then with my ex-husband and now my own, moving into older properties and doing the basics like this. It amazes me that there are still so many properties which lack the obvious insulation features! Needless to say, I switched to long-life bulbs a long while ago and am pleased that the price of them is now coming down.
Electricity: I am looking to find some form of renewable domestic electricity generation, quite likely to be solar PV which will tie in with the re-roofing project.
Living alone: In the great debate on climate change, the finger is sometimes pointed at those of us who live alone as using up more of the world's resources which can be true to a certain degree. But there are an increasing number of one-person households, so here are a few things that I do to reduce my emissions.
1: Cook in one session enough food for several meals.
2: Use a divider in a saucepan to cook several vegetables in one saucepan, instead of having three saucepans on the go.
3: Invite friends round for a meal and serve them with food that is as far as possible home-grown or locally-produced, thus saving their food miles, cooking and heating emissions for the evening.
4 Saving up tasks that need hot water to do them all at one go, rather than needing a constant hot water supply.
5 Rearrange furniture and activity space so as to be able to make the most use of sunshine coming through the windows. Just by using a sunny upstairs room as a study I need far less heating.
Transport: I now try to do all long-distance journeys by train or coach; my rule is to use the car for long journeys only if I am not alone. I already cycle but I am going to make a real effort to walk and cycle more to nearby venues. I have older friends who have really taken advantage of the pensioners' bus pass which is now well-established in Wales and shortly to be implemented in England.
Thinking of ways to involve others: Nothing is worse than the eco-bore who nags you to death about everything you do, and is likely to provoke people to do the exact opposite!! So I am trying to develop ways of offering help and incentives which are more likely to get results e.g.
"I'll take that plastic bottle for you. I can put it with my recycling" or
"You could get the No. 3 bus to my house and then you could have a couple of drinks" or simply
"I'll give you a lift"
Edinburgh South, Labour
1: Climate Change is a the major challenge facing our planet.
2: Britain can make a difference as the fourth largest economy in the world and as a member of the G7 and the UN Security Council. Steps taken already include the Climate Change levy and over £1bn being invested in renewables research including £117m for offshort wind generators, £60m for energy crops and biomass, £50m for marine renewables and £31m for photovoltaics. We must ensure that the international community takes joint action.
3: Personally, I have already held 5 meetings for constituents on energy conservation measures with Leel and other partners. In the election I highlighted climate change in every leaflet as my number-1 priority. In 2000 I toured university campuses to raise the profile of climate change campaigning. In my house, I have had energy-efficient lightbulbs since before 2000, I ensure all electrical devices are switched off and not on standby, and I cycle and use public transport I do not own a car.
Suffolk Coastal, Conservative
1: Climate change is the single most important issue facing humanity.
2: Although Britain's direct contribution to greenhouse gases is only 2%, that becomes 12% if you take into account the companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. We therefore should take a leadership role both at home and through the European Union in the world.
3: In my family and my companies we try to reduce our carbon footprint. We offset all travel and energy. We have a green tariff for electricity and we re-cycle as much as is possible. In the constituency my Constituency Association is initiating a programme of carbon saving, starting with our office and moving to engage our members and the wider electorate.
Denton and Reddish, Labour
1: EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. A major challenge facing the world's entire population.
2: Britain has ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Invested over £1 billion in renewables, including £117 million in offshore wind, £60m in energy crops and biomass, £50 million in the Marine Renewables Development Fund. Set up the world's first economy-wide greenhouse gas emmissions trading scheme. Imposed the Climate Change Levy on industry saving 7 million tonnes of carbon each year. Created the UK Emissions Trading Scheme. 250,000 homes to receive subsidised insulation between 2006-2008. The new Waste and Emissions Trading Act limits the amount of biodegradable municipal waste local authorities can landfill. And there are several more measures that have and will be taken by the Government.
3: Personally, I recycle as much as possible, use public transport as much as possible, and encourage my constituents to do the same as far as possible.
Portsmouth South, LibDem
1: It is clearly very important as the Stern report shows even more clearly than before. Virtually all the scientific opinion is now that if we don't act then there is a very strong probability that we will see global warming with severe consequences for the planet.
2: We need to act both domestically and internationally. The Lib Dems haveargued for the switch in taxation from income tax to "green taxes" on carbon emissions and other pollutants to encourage people to change their behaviour. There is clear evidence from countries such as Sweden and Finland that this really works. Viable alternatives to the car, particularly better public transport and more support for cycling need to be introduced.
Internationally, more pressure needs to be put on America to make cuts in its CO2 emissions. Most of the projected increase in CO? emissions is attributed to developing countries, particularly China and India. So, we and other developed countries need to work with these countries to find a way an equitable way forward otherwise any gains we make will be dwarfed by increases elsewhere.
3: I am trying to be as energy efficient as possible both at home and my constituency office including using low energy light bulbs, turning down thermostats and driving a more energy efficient car. I try and recycle as much as possible and have a composter. I am also a Portsmouth City Councillor and I am pleased that the council has increased recycling rates in the city by over 50% in the last eighteen months and is looking seriously at how it can be considerably more energy efficient as a council.
Hammersmith & Fulham, Conservative
1: Climate Change is one of the greatest challenge facing our generation. How it ranks compared with others is a tough call personally, I disagree with for example the Foreign Secretary, and I believe terrorism to be a greater threat.
2: In Britain, we must start by cutting our own emissions, yet carbon emissions have been rising since 1997. We need Government to lead by example, cutting its own energy use, converting to renewable energy sources, and using its enormous buying power to foster non-polluting technologies. Then we need long-term policies to create a framework for a shift to a low carbon economy. Only once we have put our own house in order, will we have the moral authority to lead an international effort to achieve a fair, robust, global system for tackling climate change. In the end, hard though it will be to secure, there must be a global agreement.
3: As an individual, I do not own or operate a car, and haven't done since 1992 and travel almost entirely by tube or bus. My carbon footprint is still too high, however, largely due to flights. The Rough Guides will know better than anyone how popular air travel has become, and MPs probably travel more than most people. Around the home, I use energy efficeint light-bulbs, and have been a fanatical recycler since 1993. At a constituency level, I have been promoting the work of the Energy Saving Trust (EST), and answering many constituent inquiries on Climate Change and related issues.
1: Climate change is perhaps the greatest long-term challenge we face and one that none of us can shy away from.
2: It is vital that as a Government we continue to work with our European and global partners in developing ways to combat climate change and build on programmes like the Kyoto Protocol and EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Although the Government is working to build national and international agreements it is just as vitally important that people take the steps within their everyday lives to reduce waste and pollution. Some have suggested that whilst developing countries are producing such high levels of pollution such changes are insignificant. It is true that we need to work to bring other countries into line; however, this should never be used as an excuse for inaction. Visit www.est.org.uk for top tips on how to conserve energy.
3: In both my constituency and Westminster offices we recycle all paper we also make sure that no appliances are left on stand by over night. I am also campaigning for more people to hand in their old mobile phones so they can be used in Africa. At home we recycle paper, plastics and bottles. I try to cut down on short car journeys wherever I can and I have added insulation to my house to save energy.
Dr Evan Harris
Oxford West & Abingdon, LibDem
1: As Sir David King, the Government's chief scientist has said, climate change is the greatest threat to mankind, even greater in the long term than terrorism. The World Health Organisation estimates 150,000 people die every year from the effects of climate change.
2: As a member of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science & Technology I have been involved in a detailed enquiry into one approach to tackling climate change carbon capture and storage technologies. We need to harness these technologies which can help us and other countries to both cut our own emissions and bring those economic benefits arising from being at the forefront of developing new greener technology.
I am a member of the Liberal Democrat policy commission into climate change, the largest policy commission ever set up by the Lib Dems to set up a comprehensive plan to cut carbon emissions across the economy. The Commission is intending to report to next year's autumn conference
We must ensure that the environment is at the heart of all policy making as the Lib Dems are already doing. We have launched the 'green tax switch' which aims to increase taxes on pollution and the production of greenhouse gases and hand the money back in income tax cuts.
As an individual, I have been supporting the ban the bulb campaign and tabled EDM 2656: "That this House notes the problems caused by increasing energy demands, including rising energy costs, reduced energy security and climate change; recognises that improved energy efficiency is the cheapest way for the UK to reduce energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions; welcomes the Ban the Bulb campaign, which aims to increase the use of compact fluorescent light bulbs; and calls on the Government to help main-stream energy efficient lifestyles by granting energy saving goods and services the same 5 per cent. VAT rate as condoms, strengthening UK building regulations and making energy efficiency a key criteria in all Government procurement."
3: I actively support the Friends of the Earth Big Ask lobby on climate change and I met with my constituent Thom Yorke of Radiohead who has been fronting the lobby to help publicise the campaign. I attempt to use public transport whenever possible rather than driving backwards and forwards between my constituency and Westminster.
North Devon, LibDem Shadow Defence Secretary
Climate Change is the greatest issue facing the world today.
Britain can still play a role internationally pushing for action our reputation may be ruined by the Iraq debacle, but if anyone has purchase in Washington, we do.
Individually, I use low energy bulbs, have insulated my ancient house, and have reduced my car usage. In my constituency I am backing wholeheartedly Marine Current Turbines off the North Devon coast.
North East Hertfordshire, Conservative
1: We should all be vitally concerned about Climate Change and its possible impact on many aspects of our lives.
2: Britain should be taking a strong lead. We need a Climate Change Bill in the next Session committing the UK to cut its carbon dioxide emissions year on year. Enshrining annual emissions reductions in law would ensure that the UK plays its part in keeping global temperatures below danger levels and that it does this in a manageable way. It would provide Government and business with the framework they need to implement the solutions to climate change for the benefit of the environment and the UK economy and it would set an example for the rest of the world to follow.
3: My family and I have always tried to be energy conscious switching off lights, not leaving machines on stand-by, using low-energy light bulbs and recycling more and more of our household waste. I use public transport around the constituency and in London wherever practicable and I do not own a gas-guzzler!
Birmingham, Yardley, LibDem
1: Climate change is a key issue which is one of the factors requiring people to live sustainable lives.
2: Britain can contribute by being more effective in using energy and using less fossil fuel.
3: I am reducing my use of fossil fuels. My car runs on a dual fuel system mainly using rapeseed oil and I don't fly much.
Newcastle upon Tyne North, Labour
1: Very important.
2: I argue internationally for progressive environmental decisions and set an example domestically.
3: I strongly support the use of insulation schemes and improved bus services to cut back on energy use domestically and unnecessary car usage. As an individual I walk many miles every day, which saves substantially and regulate household heat which should save some energy usage.
Wealden, Conservative; Shadow Minister for Energy, Science & Technology
1: I am delighted that climate change has risen to the top of the political and media agenda. The decisions we take in this area will be among the most important taken this Parliament.
2: Although the UK is only responsible for 2% of emissions, as one of the world's richest countries, we must show a clear lead. We cannot expect others to do so if we do not. I want to see a 'Cap and Trade' system in place for carbon, which will encourage business to invest in forms of electricity generation which do not produce carbon, and which will make many forms of renewable energy economically viable.
3: We have already switched most lightbulbs to energy efficient bulbs; we are upgrading our insulation and now routinely switch off lights/appliances which are not being used. I have also converted to a renewable energy supplier. We already attach great importance to recycling and to composting as much as we can.
North Down, Ulster Unionist
1: Climate change is undoubtedly the greatest environmental challenge facing the world today. Rising global temperatures will bring changes in weather patterns, rising sea levels, and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. The effects will not only be felt in the UK but internationally there will be severe problems for people in those regions particularly vulnerable to flooding.
2: As MP for North Down, I have been pressing the Government for the early introduction of a Climate Change Bill so that annual cuts in carbon dioxide emissions of 3 per cent. can be delivered in a framework that includes regular reporting along with new scrutiny and corrective processes.
3: In my own offices, staff endeavour to recycle everything possible and also strive for energy efficiency.
Leicester West, Labour
1: Climate change together with global poverty, to which it is closely linked is the single most important issue we face.
2: By acting at home and in Europe, we can and we are helping to change international opinion and lead international action. Unlike many countries, we will not only meet our Kyoto reductions on greenhouse gas emissions we will achieve twice our Kyoto commitments.
The Stern report, which we published this week, adds to the growing scientific consensus a new, economic analysis of why we must act now to cut carbon emissions, rather than trying to cope with the results in future decades. It will strengthen our hand as we work to persuade the international community to agree a new global framework on emissions reduction.
At home, we will introduce a Climate Change Bill and aim to become carbon neutral by 2012. This will build on what we have done since Gordon Brown set out his principles of environmental taxation in 1998: a radical change in personal and company car taxation in favour of cleaner cars; the introduction of congestion charging in central London to be extended to the national motorway network in future; the climate change levy; emissions trading, first in Britain and now in the EU; and the huge boost to investment in renewable energy through the renewables obligation, recently extended to 20% which we believe can be achieved by 2020.
3: Each of us, as citizens and consumers, can make a difference. But government has to take the lead.
1: As the PM has said, there is no more important issue confronting the planet.
2: Through best practice domestically and the strength of our diplomacy, we need to force this to the top of the international agenda.
3: I shall continue not to learn to drive. We switched to renewables energy suppliers. I am consulting on the hightly expensive business of making my house more energy efficient.
1: The question of how best to tackle Climate Change is of great importance, I believe that it is as important a concern as healthcare and education. We are already witnessing the early stages of Climate Change, how we act now on this issue will affect the quality of life of generations to come.
2: As a country we can use our international position to bring pressure on other nations to sign the Kyoto Agreement.
3: I have gone a great way towards making my constituency office carbon neutral. The power in the office was recently switched to ecotricity, who only supply energy for renewable sources. Water saving measures have been taken in all the toilets in the building and I have put in place a stringent recycling policy; anything in the office that is able to be recycled, is recycled. I am currently considering the possibility of installing a Wind Turbine System on the roof of my constituency office to further cut my office's energy demand and to reduce our Carbon Footprint.
1: The future of our planet is of prime importance and as more and more information becomes available about the detrimental effects of our lifestyles on climate change it will become even more important. It is also an issue which increasing numbers of my constituents care deeply about.
2: The United Kingdom(Britain excludes Northern Ireland) can make this an issue which they constantly and strongly raise at all international gatherings. We should be seen as the country that champions all attempts to get international co-operation on measures for every country to take.
3: Held meetings with those of my constituents who are interested and passed on some of their ideas to the Government and also update them regularly onm what has happened in Parliament.
I use a very small, non-gas guzzling car,-the old mini and always ensure that I buy locally-sourced, sustainable and organic produce (saves on mass transportation, which impacts climate change). I also use long life light bulbs and having been brought up in a home without central heating I always wear a sweater so using less artificial heat.
Climate change must be of fundamental concern to everyone as it effects everyone wherever they may live in the world
Britain can lead by example and help build an international action plan to combat climate change, which every country signs up to
I always travel by train from my constituency to Westminster, not by car. I use an electricity supplier who gets its electricity from offshore windfarms. I use low energy bulbs and switch off unnecessary lights. I volunteered to be on the committee of the recent Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Bill, which should make it easier for decentralised energy products to be made more widely available.
1: My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I believe that climate change is the greatest threat facing human society. That is why we support a Climate Change Bill which would set binding, independently monitored, annual targets for reducing emissions.
However, setting targets is not enough. There must be clear policies allowing the UK to meet our targets. That is why the Liberal Democrats have introduced our "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 will give people incentives to make greener lifestyle choices so that we all contribute to cutting emissions. The green tax switch is the first major step in our plans to cut carbon emissions currently being worked on by the largest policy commission ever set up by the Liberal Democrats and which will report to next year's autumn conference.
2: Regarding your question about what Britain can do to make a difference, I believe that Britain can play an important role in combating Climate Change. The UK may contribute only 2% of global emissions, but by showing that it is possible for a European country to significantly reduce its emissions we can take the lead in showing other countries how this is achievable. Furthermore, by cutting our emissions we will be meeting our international obligations, enabling Britain to use our position within the world to lead international negotiations and to establish binding agreements on cutting emissions.
I believe that by becoming a world leader in renewable and green technologies the UK can reap enormous economic benefits. At present much of the wind farm technology used in the UK was developed in Germany, and Germany has benefited greatly from becoming the established centre of excellence in this technology. The UK must not loose out in the next round of development of renewable technologies or we will again fail to reap the economic benefits. Green technology is an enormous opportunity for this country.
My constituency of Chesterfield has a strong history of green projects. The Liberal Democrat council has supported four major developments which use geothermal heating and cooling systems, utilising the Earth as an energy store instead of relying on energy created by burning fossil fuels or using nuclear power. Chesterfield Borough Council has also requested builders of new housing developments to install solar panels in a proportion of all new homes. Additionally, the new Queen's Park Sports Centre is powered by photovoltaic cells.
I am delighted that Chesterfield is among the leading energy-conscious towns in Britain and that my Liberal Democrat colleagues in the Borough Council are determined to continue to support green projects. We have recently been actively promoting practical energy saving measures at our Green Tax Switch stall in the town centre. I am also pleased that the Liberal Democrat council has managed to double recycling rates in the last two years.
3: On a personal level, I have long been an advocate of composing organic waste rather than sending it to landfill, I am replacing my light bulbs with energy saving bulbs, I switch off my household appliances rather than leaving them on standby, and I travel between Westminster and my constituency by train rather than driving.
Luton North, Labour
While I think that climate change is an extremely important issue, surveys with open-ended questions are not helpful. However, you can be assured that I support radical measures to reduce carbon emissions and consider the Government's position on these matters wholly inadequate. "Light touch regulation" strikes me as "fiddling while fossil fuels burn".
Back-bench MPs have only limited influence and it is for Government to respond to these matters so I hope you will not mind if I do not respond specifically to your survey.
1: Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our generation. As a former Chairman of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee I have been saying this for many years. I am glad others are now coming round to my point of view.
2: Britain can make a difference by taking a lead. To that end I support the climate Change Bill very strongly.
3: Steps I have personally taken include cutting down on air travel as much as possible and recycling everything I can.
1: Climate change is undoubtedly the most serious long-term threat we yet know about. Even a few degrees of further warming within the coming decades will threaten the world economy and the quality of life of millions, uprooting coastal communities, increasing the risk of drought and heatwave, flooding, hurricane and desertification. And it will hit the poorest hardest, fatally undermining attempts to tackle global poverty.
2: More than it has done so far. Some call for political consensus on this issue. Sorry, but I'd rather keep pushing the political limits and let the others catch up as fast as they can.
Internationally, we need commitments well beyond those agreed at Kyoto, delivered through a flexible array of international policy tools. Where big carbon-hungry governments like the US and Australia won't play ball we should go round them to directly involve their cities, states and companies.
Nationally, we need more green taxes to tilt the playing field away from carbon-hungry products, services and technologies. We must empower individuals with information, labelling everything in terms of its environmental cost, based on verifiable international standards and backed up by much stiffer corporate reporting rules.
Every new house and office must be green, with energy efficiency and microgeneration of heat or power built in. Car tax needs to be radically changed to incentivise more efficient cars. Major airport expansions such as Heathrow and Stansted must be stopped and air passenger duty replaced with a tax on the flights themselves to encourage fewer, fuller planes. Aircraft flights don't have to become the preserve of the rich - in fact, the rich fly more so they should be the first to cut back.
We must stop wasting energy cleaning and pumping vast quantities of drinking water only to flush most of it down the loo. Support for renewable energy in general, and decentralised microgeneration in particular, must be stepped up and made more consistent and reliable - prioritising rather than undermining the involvement and support of local communities. We must promote local sustainable biofuels and stop importing energy crops from countries that are slashing rainforest to grow them. The enormous reservoir of reliable tidal power around Britain's huge coastline and major estuaries must be captured in ways that don't ruin the local ecology. And we must pioneer 'clean' fossil fuel extraction technologies - not to let the fossil fuel industry off the hook but because we cannot leave any stone unturned.
3: As an individual, I long ago gave up incandescent light-bulbs and have switched to a renewable electricity supplier and I am now having solar thermal hot water and heating installed. I travel to Parliament each week by train, often cycle in my (admittedly compact) constituency and have never claimed any public funds for private car mileage. I have so far avoided taking any parliamentary flights overseas but I still need to cut down more on private holiday flights, drive even less and cycle more.
Folkestone & Hythe, Conservative
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.
2: In Britain, we must start by cutting our own emissions. A Climate Change Bill would help this. We need Government to lead by example, cutting its own energy use, converting to renewable energy sources, and using its enormous buying power to foster non-polluting technologies. Then we need long term policies to create a framework for a shift to a low carbon economy. Only once we have put our own house in order, will we have the moral authority to lead an international effort to achieve a fair, robust global system for tackling climate change. In the end, hard though it will be to secure, there must be a global agreement. Sadly carbon emissions under Labour have risen, we want to see them fall.
3: I drive a Toyota Prius and make a contribution to Climate Care whenever I fly.
North Southwark and Bermondsey, LibDem; President of the Liberal Democrats
1: Climate change is one of the most important issues facing humanity today. In some ways, its effects do not discriminate between white or black; or young or old. But they do appear to harm and create more risks for the poor rather than the rich. I accept the evidence which says that unless the international community acts decisively and together to combat the human causes of climate change, there is great likelihood that crop failure will starve millions, and that rising sea-levels will force even more from their homes.
2: Britain can lead the world in combatting climate change. By setting a positive example ourselves we can show the rest of the developed world and the developing world that a modern economically strong liberal democracy is not inconsistent with meeting our enviromental obligations. Our special relationships across the Atlantic, with the Commonwealth, and in the EU mean that Britain is in a position of special influence. In the UN, the G8, and the EU we can use our influence to forge a global consensus on environmental sustainability and climate change.
3: The movement towards green taxation, argued by me and my party for many years, is beginning to encourage millions in all constituencies to change their travel habits, change their purchasing, and be much more mindful of energy conservation and use in home, workplace, and elsewhere. In Southwark we have had a 'green summit' this year and I work closely with the very progressive administration led by my Liberal Democrat colleagues for sustainable policies in all our regeneration, housing, environment, leisure, and other activities. As London mayoral candidate for the Liberal Democrats I strongly argued in favour of the congestion charge, and cycling and walking. I have for many years used energy saving light bulbs, keep down heating, lighting and other power use wherever possible, have reduced my driving, and increased considerably in recent years my walking and cycling back to the levels of my student days! I also challenge everybody who uses lifts unnecessarily or uses transport when they could walk. In my offices we seek all the time to pursue best environmental practice and and cycle and use public transport as much as possible. The job of community leaders like me is to persuade people that if every individual takes responsibility for their own carbon footprint we can dramatically reduce Britain's emissions and set an example for the rest of the world to follow.
1: Climate change is the greatest threat to our civilisation today. All ten of the hottest years on record have occurred since 1990. Just in Britain, we have suffered two floods in 2002 that were meant to occur only every 30 years. We have had the wettest six months since records began in the eighteenth century, and the hottest summer temperatures in 2003 and again this year. Storm surges, flood damage and droughts are rising. The Thames barrier has been raised 55 times in the last five years, 12 times in the previous five.
In the last ten years alone, we have suffered the most powerful El Nino ever recorded in 1997-8; the most devastating hurricane in 200 years in Mitch 1998; the hottest european summer on record in which 26,000 more than usual died in June and July, 2003; the first South Atlantic hurricane ever in 2002; the collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antartica; the dramatic slide towards the sea of glaciers like Jakobshavn in Greenland in 2005; Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico and the destruction of New Orleans.
We have ten to fifteen years to curb carbon emissions sharply, and we need to move the debate from a consensus about the science and the need for sharp cuts in emissions onto the practical measures that will change our future: tough tradeable allocations to curb business emissions, green taxes to limit growth of cars and planes, building regulations to promote energy saving and production in new buildings, schemes to bring the old housing and commercial building stock up to standard, and a fair international framework to help the third world skip carbon-generating technologies in its quest for prosperity.
2: As a leading member of the European Union, Britain can help shape the european consensus behind tougher action to combat climate change. By demonstrating through our own policy that we can curb our own emissions without making ourselves poorer, we can act as an important example for developing countries. By practising what we preach, we given ourselves the moral standing to lead public opinion and repair some of the damage inflicted on our international reputation by the illegal invasion of Iraq.
Our scientists are among the world leaders in understanding climate change, including the team at the Hadley centre working on the most sophisticated model of climate change that looks not just as atmosphere and oceanic effects but also for the first time at the impact on and from vegetation in the Amazon basin. Sir Nick Stern's report on the economics of climate change will help to change opinion not just in Britain but more widely, thanks to his former role as chief economist of the World Bank.
Britain has a particular moral responsibility as one of the first countries to industrialise, and hence one of the countries that has been emitting carbon for longest. Carbon stays in the atmosphere for a hundred years, so the residue of our pre-first world war coal fires are still with us. More than 70 per cent of all man-made carbon in the atmosphere was created by developed countries.
3: Personally, I have been driving a Toyota Prius the lowest emission hybrid for two years. I take public transport and trains where I can, and we have installed various energy saving measures at home. We have an eco-kettle that boils only the amount of water we need (as does the constituency office), and we have installed energy-saving lightbulbs (though slightly frustrated to be unable to get all the replacements we need for example for incandescent strip lights: IKEA and B & Q are great, but not quite great enough). Our home in Eastleigh now has cavity wall insulation and double glazing: we have applied for planning permission for a wind turbine and we would like to instal a combined heat and power (electricity generating) boiler when they come on the market suitable for smaller sized homes. I avoid flying where possible, and offset those flights that I have to take with Climate Care. Eastleigh borough has been Lib Dem controlled since 1994, and is very green: we run a visitor centre at Itchen Valley country park, for example, that is powered by a wind turbine in the nearby field, and is a great demonstration project for children who visit. We have one of the highest dry recycling rates in the country, with further improvements in progress. But the most important step I have taken is to press for hard-edged policy commitments on green taxes and other measures that the other parties are trying to ignore.
South West Surrey, Conservative
1: Climate change has rightly risen to the very top of the political agenda as it is an issue that should concern all of us. I think it would be hard to underestimate the threat that our planet now faces. Predictions for the UK indicate that average temperatures will increase by between 2C and 3.5C by 2100, resulting in warmer summers and wetter winters. This could have big implications for the UK's biodiversity and economy as well as far reaching global consequences. In many ways this is too important an issue to play politics with as it will impact upon all of us socially and economically.
2: In Britain we must ensure that we set an example to the mainly poorer rest of the world by cutting our own carbon emissions. Government has a role to play by setting both an example and a framework in which this can happen. That is why the Conservative Party are keen to work with the Government on a climate change bill for the next Queen's Speech. Under the current government emissions have actually risen and we must do all we can to ensure that this does not continue to happen.
3: At home I try to recycle as much as possible and always make sure I turn off my mobile phone charger overnight. I'm looking into getting a quote on insulating my house in order to cut down on wasted energy and will be replacing my light bulbs with energy saving versions Earlier this year I replaced my car with a hybrid Toyota Prius.
My constituency office is also keen to recycle as much as possible and are very mindful of not wasting energy on unnecessary lights. They too will be replacing their bulbs with energy saving ones.
Cheadle, Lib Dem
1: Quite simply climate change represents the greatest known threat to the future of the planet.
2: Britain occupies a unique position with its ability to influence partners in Europe and in the United States and is also in a position to build a powerful alliance in relation to international treaties to tackle climate change and to put pressure on developing economies to take environmental factors into account as they evolve. As one of the largest economies in the world, Britain must not squander the opportunities presented by its immense influence when it comes to climate change. Britain must demonstrate leadership on this vital issue.
3: With access to the local media, I have been able to raise issues with the public such as energy conservation, use of alternative fuels, recycling and other environmentally friendly projects and ideas to encourage greener lifestyles. I have used my influence with the local council over the years to encourage greener policies on a local level such as investing in greater recycling facilities for residents, promoting public transport, increasing energy efficiency in local housing amongst many other policies. In Parliament, I will continue to vote in favour of more radical legislation to tackle climate change as well as promoting policies that switch the focus of taxation on to polluters.
Ruislip - Northwood, Conservative
1: Climate Instability carries with a huge cost in both financial and human terms. The issue is absolutely interlocked with some of the biggest concerns of our times energy security ; water and food security; the alleviation of poverty and health inequalities ; the migration of peoples and subsequent risk of conflict.
2: We are not 2% of the problem, not least because the City of London is a major supplier of capital to fossil fuel industries. Even so we have to be more than 2% of the solution . The most important thing we can do is prove that a major developed economy can grow its economy and reduce emissions significantly at the same time. Prove that and we can transform the international negotiations. The other vital role is in providing the EU with the backbone it needs to build on the timid leadership role it has a ssumed.
3: I have changed my car; switched my energy supplier to a green tariff and am taking part in a 'Lose a Tonne' Carbon Challenge designed to see how easy it is to reduce our carbon footprint by a tonne.Reuse content