Climate change: What MPs think - I to L

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* What MPs think - introduction
* What MPs think - A to C
* What MPs think - D to F
* What MPs think - G to H
* What MPs think - M to O
* What MPs think - P to S
* What MPs think - T to Y


Dr Brian Iddon

Bolton South East, Labour

1: As Sir David King, CSA to Government, has pointed out this is the most important issue facing the world today. I agree with him.

2: Britain had led the world in diplomatic negotiations on this issue, and will continue to do so. Whilst we only generate 2: % of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, it is important that we set an example for the main polluters ­ USA currently, but China and India will need a lead for the future.

3: Personally I have been keen on recycling for some time. I have replaced (and am still replacing) my light bulbs with energy efficiency light bulbs. We are trying not to leave electrical equipment on standby, and continue to provide better insulation for our home (triple glazing when we replace window frames, for example).

Before coming to Parliament, I was Chairman of Housing in Bolton and introduced a programme of better insulation for Council homes. In Parliament I am Treasurere to the All-Party Parliamentary Warm Homes Group and have given spoeeches on energy efficiency and fuel poverty in my constituency. As a Member of the Science and Technology Select Committee in the HoC I have taken part in a number of 'energy inquiries', the most recent of which was on carbon capture and storage.

Eric Illsley

Barnsley Central, Labour

1: Climate change is probably the most important problem facing the planet at this time and we are running out of time for dealing with this. 2006 had record temperatures which over the period 2003 to 2006 equalled the record temperature of the last century. So fifty years from now these temperatures will be the average and drought will be commonplace.

2: We can reduce our emissions but in the face of no action from USA and China whatever we do is merely symbolic. We have to have international action. Eg China increases its coal burn by the annual coal amount of burn of the UK every year.

3: I continue to try and persuade people to recognise this as a problem and to understand the actions governments need to take which will impact upon their lifestyle eg reduce air travel/vehicle emissions and cut back on energy consumption.

However, I am pessimistic. As a signatory to the 1990 Energy Select Committee report on Greenhouse gases, which was ignored by the Government (and the opposition) at the time I have little confidence that international action will be forthcoming until we have passed a critical point of no return.

Michael Jack

Fylde, Conservative

1: Responding to Climate change is one of the most pressing issues that Parliament and the Government must address with a programme for action not a recipe fro rhetoric. There is growing public concern and we must respond to it. We must also take a leadership role in making sure that we continue to take a leading role in the international debates on this subject. In this context it is vital that the UK uses its so called special relationship with the USA to get them to engage with this issue.

2: As far as Britain making a difference I can but refer you to the abve and the findings of the EFRA Select Committees reports on this subject. As chair of the Committee I fully support our many recommendations on this subject

3: I am currently leading an initiative in Fylde to make it the most energy efficient in the country. Have so far secured £40000 to make this happen. Strategies are being developed to achieve this objective across all sections of our Borough. I will be offering my own home re energy efficiency analysis as part of the venture.Would welcome your support and input to this project.

Siân James

Swansea East, Labour

1: It is very important ­ we all have a duty to take action to prevent climate change. I conducted a poll on my website and asked the Question: "Are you concerned about Climate Change?" Overall, 74.5% of my poll said they were. But I believe that more needs to be done about promoting simple ways which we can all participate, to help prevent climate change.

2: It is said that Britain is Europe's worst energy waster. With bad habits, for example, leaving a TV on standby could costs households £11bn by 2010. I believe people can help by taking easy steps such as; turning down a house thermostat by 1 degree celsius; replacing three bulbs with energy savings versions; washing laundry at 30 degrees celsius and leaving a car at home for short journeys. This can all help reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.

3: I have personally taken a number of steps, such as making sure the TV is not left on standby; turning off my computer screen after it has shut-down and turning off the mobile phone charger on the wall, when it is not in use. I also car share in my constituency for official business and only use the train for my weekly journey back and forth to Westminster. I have raised climate change in Parliament through Parliamentary Questions and signing Early Day Motions. I have also written to the Minister responsible on several occasions to express my concerns and those of my constituents.

Bernard Jenkin

North Essex, Conservative

1: Climate change is very important, though the jury is out on whether we have already passed a "tipping point".

2: The UK on its own can do very little directly to affect climate change, but we can lead by example. We can also develop exportable technologies which will help arrest climate change.

3: I have switched to a diesel car which produces much less CO?. I am installing a wind turbine on a home in the constituency I am building and I am looking into a solar-thermal panel for my london home. Nationally, as shadow minister for energy for six months last year, I promoted micro-renewables and CHP programmes for local councils. And nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuelled power generation.

Brian Jenkins

Tamworth, Labour

1: Hugely important. I think most governments and well informed individuals know this, but unfortunately, I still believe the vast majority of the population do not believe their small contribution will have an effect.

2: We must continue to raise the issue both internally with a view to cutting our own energy consumption and raise the issue internationally citing their own success as an example and we've taken the pain to make the gain.

3: I've been closely involved with Egas with a view to increasing and improving insulation to properties and the reduction of energy by individual households. We have taken the pain locally of four-tracking the west coast line, so that more people may travel by train. I personally have invested in a high-efficiency boiler, low energy light bulbs, switched my travel arrangements to use public transport back and forth to London when ever possible and switched to a diesel car that gives me more miles to the gallon.

Boris Johnson

Henley, Conservative

I have to admit I'm baffled. According to James Lovelock the problem is already so bad there is nothing we can do!

Diana Johnson

Hull North, Labour

1: Yes ­ climate change is very important and especially, I feel, to the new intake of Labour MPs (May 2005.)

2: Britain can provide international political leadership and pressure on other countries such as US and European neighbours. I am looking forward to a bill in the Queens speech and want to see the promotion of sustainable buildings and more use of micro-generation in local communities. I'm very keen the extensive Building Schools for the Future programme means we have schools which are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

3: I have offered support to a renewable energy company based in my constituency and businesses wishing to use renewable energy sources. Personally, I recycle more, compost more, use bicycle more and car less.

David Jones

Clwyd West/Gorllewin Clwyd, Conservative

1: Probably the most important issue currently facing mankind. The Stern report made it very clear what an economic and social catastrophe we face if nothing is done.

2: Britain can do a great deal to make a difference. Although this country accounts for only 2% of carbon emissions, it can use its international importance as a major industrialised nation to act as an exemplar of good practice and its diplomatic influence to seek to persuade other countries to take meaningful steps to reduce their emissions.

3: I am seeking to promote the construction of a tidal lagoon for electricity generating purposes off the coast of Kinmel bay in my constituency; I am careful to conserve energy at a domestic level through simple but effective measures such as switching off lights, not using the standby facility on TV sets, disconnecting battery chargers when not in use and using low-energy light bulbs.

Dr Lynne Jones

Birmingham Selly Oak, Labour

1: Climate change is the most important issue facing humankind and if we in the developed nations do not take action to drastically reduce our CO2 emissions, the planet may well be uninhabitable before the end of the Century.

2: We should begin planning now for personal carbon allowances and 'one planet living'. Britain must lead by example and the Government must invest significantly more in energy efficiency and measures to reduce motoring and aviation. Taking a lead in eco-friendly technologies will also bring big economic benefits.

3: I am the first politician to come out strongly in support of road pricing in Birmingham and have campaigned for proper consideration of the needs of cyclists in transport schemes. I am taking measures to significantly reduce my own carbon footprint, which is still far too high.

Tessa Jowell

Dulwich & West Norwood, Labour; Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media & Sport

1: Climate change is the most important issue facing us as individuals, as legislators, as a country and as a planet.

2: Britain signalled the importance it attaches to this issue by making it one of the two main objectives for progress during our Presidency of the EU and G8 last year. We published our climate change strategy in March 2006 and, very recently, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. We will continue to lead in building a consensus at home and with our EU and international partners to ensure that climate change is placed at the top of the agenda for action both domestically and internationally.

3: As Olympics Minister I am seeking to ensure that the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are as green as possible. I have, with colleagues locally, held a 'Climate Change Summit' in Southwark which aimed to raise awareness of how individuals, the local authority, London's Mayor and the GLA, the Government and international organisations can each play a part in becoming part of the solution to the problem of climate change.

I am working on a similar, more local, event to be held in my own constituency next year. As an individual I am striving to do all I can to reduce my own carbon footprint.

Eric Joyce

Falkirk, Labour

1: It's a concern of the highest political, economic and social order.

2: We can change our assumptions about the way we live and we can do much about our contribution as 60m people in a highly developed society ­ but we can also influence the international community and the huge future economies of China and India, and that's where perhaps the greatest challenge is.

3: I chair the All Party Group on the Great Lakes region of Africa and I speak a great deal locally about our work, which is part funded by the Rainforest Foundation and would clearly benefit from more cash for the non-exploitation of rainforests as proposed by Stern. I'm also meeting constituents and groups such as FoE, at a local level, to discuss our contributions post-Queen's Speech.

Daniel Kawczynski

Shrewsbury and Atcham, Conservative

1: Climate change is immensely important to all us, but also to the next generation.

2: Britain is a major economic power, and as rich country it is our duty to promote environmentally friendly behaviour around the globe, as well as at home.

3: I am a keen advocate of bio-fuels and am campaigning to enable this industry to grow, whilst taking the small steps as an individual in implementing changes at home. I know I should be doing more, and am constantly looking at ways I can do so.

Sally Keeble

Northampton North, Labour

1: Very important.

3: I'm working with some local groups to set up a Green Forum for Northampton to look at what can be done locally and also to lobby nationally.

Alan Keen

Feltham & Heston, Labour

1: Climate Change is vitally important.

2: Britain needs a national, fully co-ordinated system of action at all levels of society to reduce carbon emissions. Many of the necessary actions will impact on peoples lives and, as an incentive, it is important that the public understands and signs up to the initiatives. The likely benefits of each initiative needs to be evaluated to help ensure that the public backs the actions of local authorities, government and industry.

3: On a personal level I am close to obsessive when it comes to recycling and energy saving. A very large proportion of my constituents suffer more aircraft noise and the associated air pollution than any other people in the country. They understand the economic benefits of Heathrow Airport and the air transport industry but also realise that a balance has to be struck. It is impossible in a constituency like Feltham & Heston not to be preoccupied with environmental issues.

Paul Keetch

Hereford, LibDem

1: Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the world, it undermines our society as a whole, has serious economic implications and ultimately presents a critical threat to the future of human life on the earth.

2: The British public can do much more in terms of changing their lifestyle choices and behaviour, relatively small changes like turning lights off or using energy efficient light bulbs, can have a huge impact across the whole country. The UK government should also be using its position in the world to lead global opinion on this issue; a good start would be to include a Climate Change Bill in the Queen's Speech to indicate that this is a priority for the coming year's legislation.

3: I am involved in many local initiatives, most recently I participated in a meeting of the Herefordshire Climate Consensus, on 13th October 2006, Hereford Shire Hall, looking at how to put in place a Climate Change Bill, this included proposals from the local area, such as the Herefordshire Partnership's Climate Action Plan. In parliament, I have signed two Early Day Motions on Climate Change, most recently 'EDM 2732 An Inconvenient Truth and Climate Change', which reinforces concern on Climate Change and supports Al Gore's insightful environmental film An Inconvenient Truth, including a recommendation that all MPs watch the film.

The Liberal Democrats have been consistently asking for better legislation on climate change, we have been leading on policy innovation and after a long debate on this important issue at the recent Party Conference in Brighton, we voted through our Green Tax Switch ­ this is a shift in policy towards taxing pollution, with lower taxes on income ­ in order to change consumer behaviour, for more details see our website:

On a personal level, I am currently planning to install solar panels on my family home in Hereford, and am working closely with local contractors on this implementation. This way we will begin to meet our own family energy needs through sustainable methods.

Ruth Kelly

Bolton West, Labour; Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government, and Minister for Women

1: Climate change is real and happening now. The evidence is undeniable. There is no more fundamental challenge to our future. But it is not too late for us to avoid the worst effects of climate change through the actions we take.

2: Show leadership on the international stage and implement significant policies domestically to demonstrate to others what can be achieved.

3: I am bringing in someone to carry out an energy audit in my Bolton home. They will then make recommendations to me on the appropriate actions I can take as a result, and what the gains will be in terms of saving energy as well as money.

Fraser Kemp

Houghton & Washington East, Labour

1: I believe it is absolutely critical to the world's future.

2: I believe Britain should continue to give leadership internationally.

3: I shall try to raise the issue locally to raise collective and personal awareness. As an individual I try to follow advice on energy saving.

Robert Key

Salisbury, Conservative

1: Climate change is the most important issue facing the world today. It is at least as important as the 'war on terror'.

2: Britain must take a lead in two ways. First, by international persuasion and example ­ pointing out that even small countries like the UK must take action, because each one of us generates six times as much carbon as the average African. Secondly, by helping individual citizens to alter their lifestyles through education, tax incentives and 'green taxes'.

3: The most 'expensive' action I have taken personally was to buy my first Toyota Prius hybrid car nearly four years ago ­ I am now on my second which is even better! We replaced an old gas boiler with a new one. We keep our central heating at 17C. I travel by train not plane whenever possible ­ and by sea for holidays, not air! We actively shop locally in our Salisbury market (always have, to be honest), use local shops and farm shops and farmers' markets, look for local and British food in our Tescos and Waitrose stores ­ and actively avoid 'food miles' products like 'fresh' fish from New Zealand! We do not own the most extravagant water and energy waster of all ­ a washing up machine. We do not own a plasma screen tv (which would use four times as much electricity). We do not flush the loo during the night ­ saves a lot of litres of water and a lot of energy to pump the water! We measure the water into the kettle by mug according to the amount we need. We recycle all we can.

Publicly, at the 2005 General Election I had a 'green page in my Address ­ see it on my website. I joined the panel for a local Friends of the Earth public meeting on Energy. Last weekend I launched the 'Langford Villages Climate Friendly Community' project, an initiative of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (of which I am a member) and this week I have started promoting the idea to the village of Downton. I write regularly on these issues ­ see my website 'Robert's Views' ­ Monthly Column where I recently wrote of the imperative for international and local action.

That OK for starters ­ I could go on!

David Kidney

Stafford, Labour

1: Tackling climate change is one of the most serious challenges facing the entire world today.

2: Britain should set a good example domestically in order to speak with authority in trying to lead the nations of the world to agree world-wide measures to tackle climate change.

3: As well as trying to set a good example in my own life and encourage constituents to do the same, I am promoting the SEE Change project - a national hub-and-spoke series of Sustainable Development Technologies Centres ­ with the first Centre established in Stafford constituency.

Julie Kirkbride

Bromsgrove, Conservative

1: I am very worried about climate change. It would be entirely irresponsible of my generation to do too little today to tackle global warming thereby leaving our children to suffer the consequences of that inaction in the future.

2: There are many things Britain could do to reduce its carbon footprint, but anything really meaningful requires a Government lead. A start would be a Climate Change Bill, but after that we need to use regulation and taxation to change the way we behave and the priority we give to global warming. Much more could be done on the domestic front for example to cut household emissions ­ with quick easy gains. Greater self sufficiency in energy in social housing would also do a great deal to address fuel poverty ­ so in some areas we can have a win win situation.

3: We have recently changed our boiler at home to a condensing one and I will be pursuing insulation as a priority. We constantly nag about switching off lights and the standby button on the TV and we do, of course, recycle. I have for some time walked my child to school and myself into work (on most days!) and to my husband's disgust I bought a 'granny' shopping trolley for carbon neutral shopping trips to the supermarket!

Greg Knight

East Yorkshire, Conservative

1: Climate change and the response of the international community to it is certainly one of the most important issues we face.

2: Although we should seek international consensus for dealing with climate change, UK Government departments could make greater use of renewable energy sources and cut their own consumption.

I believe that increasing the energy efficiency of our nation's housing stock is one of the most cost effective ways of reducing our consumption of energy and hence carbon dioxide emissions. It would also lift many households out of fuel poverty.

More effort should be made to reduce the effects of electricity generation. We should encourage technologies other than onshore wind, so that all our eggs are not in one basket. The present Government has rather neglected other sources of renewable energy, such as offshore wind, biomass and the emerging technologies of wave and tidal power. I support a review of our grant programmes to give support for these less mature technologies.

Nuclear power should have a greater role, because 1 kWh of energy generated from coal causes 955g of C02, whereas 1 kWh of nuclear energy results in just 4g of C02.

I do not support futile gestures which would harm Britain's competitiveness and lead to UK job losses. Telling UK motorists to 'travel more slowly to save fuel' is not the answer. And in rural areas where public transport is non-existent it is absurd to tell people not to use their car. Also, vehicles are becoming less-polluting: total emissions in 2003 were the same as in 1993 despite a 25% increase in our vehicle population.

3: I have planted over 30 new trees on my own property and will plant more. I have installed energy efficient light bulbs and I switch off electrical appliances when not in use. I compost some waste. However, when I travel I prefer to make the best use of my time rather than ineffective gestures.

Susan Kramer

Richmond Park, LibDem

1: Climate change is right at the top of the agenda alongside tackling poverty. The two go hand-in-hand and should not be seen as in conflict with each other. We have ten years to act to avoid a tipping point on climate change and that means action on every level ­ international, national and local.

2: The Climate Change Bill must set binding targets, independently monitored for annual reductions in emissions. Emission Trading schemes, including aviation, are crucial but the caps must be tough. In the international arena, not only do we need Kyoto II but we need better mechanisms and funding to help the developing world commit to low carbon development. I strongly support my party's "Green tax switch" campaign which makes the polluter pay while cutting income tax. We also need changes in planning law, education programmes and incentives for people to change their lifestyles and to use consumer pressure to make manufacturers come forward with green technologies.

3: I am strongly supporting my local council of Richmond upon Thames in introduction car parking charges based on the polluting character of the car. Although I mostly use public transport, I still need a car to get to quite a number of activities in my constituency. I hope in a few months to replace my existing car with a greener car so I will save parking money as well as helping the environment. I continue to fight hard for improvements to our local bus and train services and to press the argument for better cycle provision. I am working with others locally to explore the potential for community-based micro-generation from renewable sources. I now have an "eco-kettle", try not to leave the TV on standby. I am frustrated that living in a "conservation" area makes it defunct to retro-fit my home.

Dr Ashok Kumar

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Labour

1: Climate Change is almost certainly the one great challenge of the 21st century, as issues of hunger, agriculture, sustainability and, indeed war and peace, are endangered by climate change.

2: Britain has the ability to be a world leader in tackling climate change through both education and by the development and dissemination of cleaner, greener technologies which will both sustain countries and communities and make the world a cleaner place.

3: Personally, my constituency office had been made energy efficient by full insulation, double glazing and full loft insulation. I also use public transport ­ bus and train ­ a lot more than I once did! This is going back to my roots. I never had a car until I was in my late 30s.

Jacqui Lait

Beckenham, Conservative

1: Climate change is certainly a great challenge for the twenty-first century and one that we should all take an interest in.

2: Britain can start to make a difference by introducing a Climate Change Bill followed by actions such as reducing energy use and recycling, which is something that everybody can do. We must also work with industry and business in the UK, and take lead globally.

3: With regard to what personal action I have taken, I have recycled and composted for many years, I switch appliances off when they are not needed, I use energy saving light bulbs where I can, and my home is double-glazed and insulated.

Norman Lamb

North Norfolk, LibDem

1: We have long been made aware of the potentially catastrophic environmental impact of global warming. As the report by Sir Nicholas Stern indicates, climate change will have a huge detrimental effect on the world's economy and leave millions homeless as sea levels rise to flood low lying areas.

2: Britain must play a fundamental role in this debate, and the best way of doing that is to lead by example. We've heard a lot of warm words from the Government about tackling this problem, but they are still showing a reluctance to match their rhetoric with robust policies. Hard decisions need to be made. I believe the Liberal Democrats have shown the way by promoting "Green Tax Switch" policies to increase environmental taxes whilst at the same time reducing taxes on income. Tony Blair now needs to take a lead by introducing a Climate Change Bill in the Queen's speech.

3: I am about to publish a report on the energy use of Norfolk councils. Attitudes of local authorities towards energy consumption and expenditure fall well short of what is required. I have urged the district councils of Norfolk to monitor energy consumption and set challenging reduction targets ­ something which should be standard for all local authorities in the UK.

I am also currently working with a research student at the University of East Anglia who is exploring the potential of renewable energy and energy conservation and how we can best harness that technology in my constituency. I want to ensure that North Norfolk is at the forefront of harnessing power from renewable sources and that the District Council demonstrates best practice in both cutting energy waste and in exploiting renewable energy.

David Lammy

Tottenham, Labour

1: Climate change isn't just a concern, it is the concern for all of us. It's a massive challenge ­ but we shouldn't let that disempower people. The Stern report demonstrated not just the scale of the threat of climate change, but the possibilities for action. It's going to require changes from government, from companies, and from all of us, but we have it in our power to make the difference.

2: We may be responsible for only 2% of the world's emissions, but we can have a much bigger impact than that. Britain can take a lead on the international stage ­ like we did with the G8 ­ bringing countries like China and India and a growing number of states in the US with us. By working with other countries and taking a lead ourselves, we can make an important contribution.

3: I don't drive, but I've recently changed my ministerial car to a hybrid. Changing your mode of transport is something lots of people are doing now, and it's one way of doing my bit. And in Tottenham, I'm going to be teaming up with Haringey Council, Friends of the Earth, voluntary groups and the wider community, to see what we can all do to help tackle climate change.

Mark Lancaster

North East Milton Keynes, Conservative

1: There is little doubt that Climate Change is one of the greatest challenge facing our generation. It is not just an environmental issue, but a social and economic one.

2: In Britain we should lead by example and should 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 have recently carbon off set my constituency office and my car for a year and intend to repeat this on an annual basis. I am in the process of installing energy efficient light bulbs in my house as existing bulbs need replacing and am looking in to getting an electric car for my constituency work in association with a project being looked considered by Milton Keynes Council.

David Laws

Yeovil, LibDem

1: Climate Change is the biggest challenge for our generation and for future generations.

2: Britain, like all other nations, faces a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions and develop a more energy efficient society. As a nation which led the process of industrialisation, we can and should take a leading role in the process of reducing the harmful environmental impacts of economic development. But it is a fundamental fact that Britain cannot act effectively alone. It is essential that countries such as the US, China and India take parallel actions. For policies against climate change to make an impact, action must therefore be taken through transnational organisations such as the EU and UN.

3: On an individual level, I am taking a number of steps in order to save energy. These include cutting out a lot of the wasteful use of energy which previously I didn't give enough attention to. My constituency has seen a huge increase in recycling provision over the past few years, and it is now an integral part of Somerset County Council's waste disposal methods. There is an active local climate change lobby, which I am liaising with.

Bob Laxton

Derby North, Labour

1: Climate change is quite simply of critical importance. Virtually all scientists agree that modern industrialised society is the cause of accelerating global warming. To protect our future generations and potentially millions dying from floods drought and extreme weather it is our duty, as citizens of this planet, and particularly important for the UK as a leading economy, to make the right changes. While the picture painted is often bleak to raise awareness I think that we should feel reassured by our own history of ingenuity. If we aggressively look for answers, I think we will find them and I believe the Government can help to change attitudes and drive this process.

2: Britain already is making a difference. The government is a world leader on climate change issues and through raising awareness, debating the issues and encouraging participation we are already seeing attitudes change. I do not like to use the term "Britain" because that infers that the problem does not lie at everyone's doorstep. Regardless of the schemes and the initiatives it will be up to every individual to change and not just government policy.

3: I have continually supported EDMs on climate change and I have joined campaigns which I have encouraged local press to adopt. Most recently, I encouraged everyone in Derby to join me in taking 10 steps to turn down climate change. These steps included turning down the heating by a degree, improving the insulation in their houses and not leaving electrical equipment on. Again, these are small steps but the changes have to start small and the perception of the public has to gradually change over time. It is only by initiatives like these that we can achieve this.

Mark Lazarowicz

Edinburgh North & Leith, Labour

1: The issue of climate change is of over-riding importance. The evidence that climate change is happening is overwhelming ­ we are witnessing some startling effects already, such as the thinning of the polar ice caps, the melting of permafrost, the greater incidence of extreme weather events and warmer summers.

We face a massive task to reduce our carbon emissions and to attempt to face-off the worst effects of climate change but to do nothing is not an alternative. Public opinion is now increasingly realising this, and in many ways is actually ahead of politicians on the issue. Politicians and political parties now have to translate that public concern into the dramatic action that is needed.

2: Quite a lot. We are one of the world's major industrial economies and we still have a lot to do to reduce our own emissions from both the domestic and business sectors. Within Europe we can make a difference too, for example, by fighting to strengthen the EU Emission Trading Scheme, and by working with our European neighbours to utilise more renewable energy rather than fossil fuels and by encouraging more energy saving measures.

3: There are many ways in which individuals can act to reduce their own carbon emissions, and make their own contribution to help tackle climate change. A big way in which many of us can cut personal carbon emissions is by looking at the way we travel and to aim to use the method which produces less carbon emissions. As an MP, I travel a lot, and I have worked to change my travel patterns to help me reduce my own carbon emissions.

In June this year my Private Members' Bill on Climate Change and Sustainable Energy became law. This legislation includes measures to encourage microgeneration and requires the Government to report on the steps it has taken to cut carbon emissions. I am hopeful this law can play a significant role in promoting small-scale renewable energy, and in turn cut carbon dioxide emissions..

Locally, I am leading an Edinburgh Community Energy initiative, working with community organisations, NGOs and businesses to develop a co-ordinated strategy for developing sustainable energy in the area.

I have also signed up to the '25/5 Personal Carbon Emissions Challenge' ­ launched by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change ­ in which I have pledged to reduce my personal carbon dioxide emissions by 25 per cent over the next five years.

John Leech

Manchester, Withington, LibDem

1: Climate change is the single most important issue facing the planet.

2: Britain needs to take the lead ­ switching taxes onto pollution

3: I have signed the 20% pledge and carried out most of the actions we are expected to do. I'm also changing my car to a vastly more fuel efficient diesel.

Oliver Letwin

West Dorset, Conservative; Chairman of the Conservative Policy Review

1: Alongside global poverty and international security, climate change is one of the three greatest challenges currently facing the world ­ and it is of course intimately connected with both of the other great global challenges. We have to take action both within the UK and around the world to reduce carbon emissions very significantly if we are to avoid creating intolerable risks for our children and grandchildren.

2: Britain can do a large amount. We are a significant carbon producer, and action we take in Britain to achieve at least a 60% reduction in carbon emissions between now and 2050 will make a significant contribution to that goal by the world as a whole. But, beyond that, by establishing a new statutory framework in an effective climate change law, and by following that through with specific policies designed to create a carbon price across the economy, we can exhibit moral leadership, which will give our government, under successive administrations, more ability to influence other countries. That is why we seek cross party consensus on climate change.

3: In my constituency, I have been working with local groups to promote renewable energy of a kind that is sensitive to local surroundings and which can also help to sustain local agriculture. In my own life, I have switched to a hybrid car, and have replaced light bulbs with low energy bulbs in all lamps that will fit them. I am now planning to replace boilers with CHP and am investigating the use of solar power. I am also investigating improved loft insulation.

Tom Levitt

High Peak, Labour

1: Climate change is a huge concern. When I was a teacher of environmental studies 10 or 15 years ago I was banging on about it. Now at last the political landscape will allow us to do something about it.

2: Although UK only creates 2% of the world's greenhouse gases we are in a position to set examples to others. In places like USA the government lags behind where the people want to be on climate change, in UK we can lead opinion. This is particularly important in our world-leading work in international development, where we need to help developing countries to strive for affluence without generating the environmental cost that our own history produced.

3: I have signed up to the Energy Savings Trust ten steps to tackling climate change ­ apart from the measures I had taken already, of course!

Ian Liddell-Grainger

Bridgwater, 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 too. It is an issue that everyone must be concerned about and we all have responsibility in dealing with it.

2: In Britain, we must start by cutting our own emissions. A Climate Change Bill would help in achieving this. We need the Government to lead by example, cutting its own energy use, converting to renewable energy resources, and using its own 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 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. In addition, we must all play part in addressing the issue be it as business, individuals and governments.

3: As in individual, amongst other things I have taken the following steps to help cut down carbon emissions:

I have installed energy efficient light bulbs at home, have solar panels to help with heating and hot water and have turned down the thermostat to save energy.

I switch off electrical appliances at home and in the office when they are not in use and turn off lights when I leave the room ­ and nag my children to do the same.

In my very large constituency it is not practical to rely on public transport for my constituency duties, but as far as possible I try to group my engagements and meeting in one area on the same day and walk between them where it is practical to avoid driving extra miles and creating additional emissions.

I recycle to cut down on energy use and kitchen waste is either composted or fed to the hens we keep.

We grow many of our own vegetables and buy as much produce as possible locally to cut down on food miles. Locally bought food from suppliers such as the local butcher also had less packaging.

In recent years I have also planted a large number of trees at home.

David Lidington

Aylesbury, Conservative

1: I believe that climate change is a very important challenge for the United Kingdom and for the whole world. None of us can be absolutely certain about the science but it seems to me that the consensus of scientific opinion during the last few years has become ever more convinced that climate change is happening and that carbon emissions from human activity is the chief cause.

2: The United Kingdom on its own can not put much of a break on global warming but it should be trying to take a lead. We have to persuade countries like China and India that they should industrialised by using new technologies which do not contribute to climate change and I think we stand no chance of doing this unless we and other western nations are clearly taking determined action ourselves.

3: Personally, I aim to travel by train between my constituency and Westminster, save in exceptional circumstances. My wife and I are gradually replacing our standard light bulbs with energy saving ones and we do make a real effort to separate waste.

Tony Lloyd

Manchester Central, Labour

1: Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face and ought to be at the top of the political agenda. The message from scientists is getting clearer but it is now more difficult to control. Solutions do exist, if the political will is there to drive them through. We have got, and can develop further the techniques needed but we need to take on our fare share of the cost as Britain has a big responsibility as a rich nation. We need to take proper leadership with concerted action on the global level as well as individually.

Elfyn Llwyd

Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, Plaid Cymru

1: Climate change is absolutely vital and should be considered a top priority by every political party and government.

2: Britain should undertake extensive publicity campaigns to encourage energy savings and cutting down on emissions together with changes in lifestyle.

3: I travel by public transport on every occasion possible and I always consider alternatives to short-haul flights.

Sir Michael Lord

Central Suffolk & North Ipswich, Conservative

1: Climate Change is one of the greatest challenge facing our generation. It is not just an environmental issue, but a social and economic one.

2: 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: We can all play our part in reducing carbon emissions and this is a matter I take extremely seriously by reducing car use, and using the train whenever possible, installing energy efficient light bulbs and other low carbon products, not flying every year, switching off electrical appliances when not in use and recycling and composting waste.

Tim Loughton

East Worthing & Shoreham, Conservative

1: We all need to be concerned about climate change. We should be tackling it on a local, national and global level.

2: On a local level we need to educate our own citizens about the current situation and emphasise the difference they can make by taking simple steps around the home. On a national level we need to concentrate on cutting our carbon emissions and provide further support for renewable power sources such as wind turbines. On a global level we should be leading by example and be using our international leverage to help other countries become more environmentally friendly.

3: In my own constituency I have encouraged environmental projects and charities such as MAD (Make a Difference) and its parent organisation CSV. I am also Patron of The Green House Project which actively encourages people to recycle and use environmentally friendly products. I went on one of their volunteering days where I learnt more about recycling and the positive impact it can have on the environment. I have also joined my local council to promote the 10% Challenge which is aiming to encourage individuals and businesses to save 10% of the energy and water they use.

Peter Luff

Mid Worcestershire, Conservative; Chairman, Trade and Industry Select Committee

1: All the evidence is compelling that climate change is one of the most important issues facing the planet ­ along with the need to challenge global poverty and disease. But even if you aren't absolutely convinced that human activity is altering the climate, are you sure you can take the risk and do nothing? That would be such a very big gamble.

2: Britain can lead by example ­ and put a lot of effort into environmental technologies that we can export to other countries too. Tackling climate change is not just about sacrifice and cost ­ there is opportunity too. We could send out the message that there are lots of technologies around ­ like solar water heating ­ that could cut carbon emissions dramatically and save people money too.

3: I am convinced that the most powerful weapon to secure change is the economic one ­ so rising fuel prices will be the most effective means of forcing change. I am installing a new high efficiency condensing boiler and I drive a (relatively) fuel efficient car (it averages about 42 mpg) not just because I am worried about carbon emissions, but also because I want to save money. People need to hear the message that it's not too late and it's not too difficult. Millions of small changes can make a real difference ­ and probably save them money too. That's the message I try to send out locally. We need to be more optimistic about the possibility of winning the battle or the risk is that people will give up because they think it's too difficult.