Climate change: What MPs think - P to S

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Indy Politics

* 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 - I to L
* What MPs think - M to O
* What MPs think - T to Y

THE MPS' RESPONSES

Jim Paice

South East Cambridgeshire, Conservative

1 Climate Change is of critical concern for everyone who wants to think beyond today. With substantial parts of my constituency at or below sea level it is of great local importance but also across the globe where some parts may be inundated through rising sea levels causing huge numbers of displaced people.

2 Whilst it is true that Britain only contributes 2% of CO2 emissions we cannot expect to persuade others to act if we have not acted ourselves. We have to address all aspects of life from the way our food is produced and how far it has travelled right through to where we go on holiday and how our houses are constructed. To start with a Climate Change Bill with a clear and independent assessment of where we are and how we are progressing year by year.

3 I am replacing all my light bulbs by energy efficient ones, I have turned down the thermostat on the heating and I have decided that when my boiler needs replacing I will fit a wood chip one using chips from the woodland which I planted a few years ago as my own 'sink'.

Nick Palmer

Broxtowe, Labour

1 Extremely important. It's also a significant challenge for the political system in each country, since it requires action ­ sometimes inconvenient and/or costly action ­ now in order to provide benefits and ward off dangers for the coming decades and even centuries.

2 Traditionally political leaders are pressed into short-termism by their voters, and I'm very glad that Tony Blair has identified climate change as the key challenge for our time.

The most important task is to stimulate world consensus. Even if we reduced our own emissions to zero, the outlook would be hopeless unless countries like the USA, China and India also work to change it. There is a certain amount of cheap jeering at both politicians and environmentalists who fly to international conferences, but if ever a carbon emission was worthwhile, this is it. However, that doesn't absolve us from curbing our own voracious consumption of resources and willingness to generate harmful emissions, and we need to take action in legislation, in planning ­ including a reconsideration of planning restrictions affecting wind energy and other renewables ­ and in housing standards, as well as in promoting conservation and microgeneration by individuals.

3 I keep a mailing list of nearly 1000 constituents interested in the environment informed of developments and organised a local seminar on energy saving in Attenborough Nature Reserve, which itself is noted for its pioneering use of renewable technology. At a personal level I've accepted the 5/25 challenge to reduce my own carbon ewmissions by 25% in the current 5 years, and have not taken foreign holidays for two years and downsized my car at steps towards this.

Andrew Pelling

Croydon Central, Conservative

1 Crickets chirping outside my home in mid October ­ another example of global warming. Global warming is an important issue and especially important for my children. This is not a view shared by all my constituents as some have written saying that crime, international conflict and migration issues are more pressing concerns for them.

2 Green industries are a great commercial opportunity for the UK economy. I am glad that Conservative Party pressure will lead to the introduction of a Climate Change Bill. The UK can set the standard for others to follow.

3 I am a public transport user having never driven a car. I recycle and have energy saving light bulbs. I am though against the use of microchips to spy in residents' bins.

John Penrose

Weston-super-Mare

Absolutely vital!

Eric Pickles

Brentwood and Ongar

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 have committed to cutting personal carbon emissions by 25% over 5 years; reducing car journeys, installing energy efficient light bulbs and other low carbon products, avoiding flying, switching off electrical appliances when not in use, converting to a renewable electricity supplier, recycling and composting waste. My local authority has recently expanded its recycling and is looking at other ways of saving energy.

Greg Pope

Hyndburn, Labour

1 Climate change should be our top strategic concern.

2 Britain can and should take a lead and be an example to other countries, not least by showing that it is possible to meet the Kyoto protocols and still run a competitive economy.

3 We can all make a difference by recycling more, becoming more environmentally conscious about the effects of our own actions and taking steps to reduce and offset our own carbon footprint.

Bridget Prentice

Lewisham East, Labour

1 Climate change is one of the most serious issues facing us in the 21st century. It is an issue of especial concern to progressives who will rightly worry that it is the world's poorest who will be the worst affected.

2 The UK ought to be proud of the success of our G8 and EU Presidencies. I believe we are respected around the world for our efforts but that, as ever, more can be done. Government can encourage ethical living to a point but people can also look at their own behaviour and how they can support us in achieving our goals.

3 I have already pledged to my constituents to turn all of my electrical appliances off stand by mode when I turn them off. If enough other people were to do the same the beneficial effects on our environment would be dramatic. At the moment all of us in the UK waste the equivalent of around two power stations' worth of electricity each year by leaving our TV sets and other gadgets on standby.

In addition I am using more energy saving lights bulbs, I recycle (thanks to a very efficient Labour Council), I don't use more water than necessary in my kettle, and I have turned down my thermostat by several degrees. I am also using a Toyota Prius for all of my Ministerial visits ­ and have bought a bike to cycle round Lewisham. I'm proud to be playing my part in making Lewisham a better place in which to live and I hope others will take up more energy-saving ways of travel, as well.

Dawn Primarolo

Bristol South, Labour

1 Climate change is the single most pressing issue facing the planet. The Stern Report, commissioned by Gordon Brown, sets out the changes which we will have to make if we are to mitigate the effects of climate change. The consequences for not doing so are bleak, and potentially disastrous, for the United Kingdom and the world. The report quantifies the potential economic costs of doing nothing and makes it clear that Britain needs long-term international and domestic policies to combat climate change.

2 Britain is leading the world in tackling climate change. We are on course to exceed our Kyoto targets, and have set ourselves the ambitious goal of reducing UK carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2050. A Climate Change Bill in the Queen's Speech will detail what we must do now to avoid waiting until it is too late. We are already seeing the positive impact of the Climate Change Levy ­ which the Tories oppose ­ and will continue to invest in renewable energy sources. But we cannot do it alone. We have to involve key carbon emitters like the US, China and India, and press EU member states for lasting, binding and effective agreements.

3 In my role as an MP, I support local and central government in making the case for action on climate change, and work with environmental groups in my constituency, like Buried Treasure and Restore. We have always operated a green constituency office. We purchase recycled supplies wherever possible and refill toner cartridges. We recycle all we can, from paper and plastic, to filing cabinets and cardboard. We reduce our energy use with low energy bulbs, switching off standby on machines at night, and only use lights when necessary. I regularly travel by train, whilst my staff generally walk and cycle to work. I am a keen recycler at home. I have made a conscious effort to reduce energy and water use. I am sure that this type of individual effort can have a considerable effect on the total amount of carbon we emit.

Mark Pritchard

The Wrekin, Conservative

1 It is of great concern. However, Climate Change needs to be viewed more widely than in terms of Environment policy alone. It needs to be seen in the wider context of geo-political and defence policy.

2 The government should show national and international leadership by introducing a Climate Change Bill in the Queen's Speech.

3 Planting trees, asking the LA for an environmental audit of ecological sites and assets, called for wildlife protection against LA development proposals.

John Pugh

Southport, LibDem

1 Climate change is the biggest physical peril to mankind and the planet but is not unrelated to a global spiritual crisis. We have fallen victim to a mindless kind of materialism and consumerism that respects neither our environment nor basic human needs.

2 We cannot therefore do much as a nation without re-examining lifestyle and behaviour. Ecological virtue and leading a more wholesome and fulfilling life have to be seen as compatible.Its not just a question of buying low energy bulbs. The politicians role is to incentivise the public to do what is in the best interest of each and everyone of us in the hope and expectation that that is what we will come to want for ourselves. Behind all the international agreements we will surely need must be the belief that there is little to be lost and much to be gained in a sustainable and genuinely interdependent world.

3 On a personal level beyond the energy audits, campaigns joined and initiatives pursued I am enjoying coming to terms with a raft of life style adjustments I need to make. But to the extent that I am able to see it not as some hair shirt, holier than thou , exercise in self denial and nay saying, I am able to welcome it as simply a way of leading a better life. I genuinely believe that if we see meeting the environmental challenge as a form of spiritual renewal and development, we will arrive at enduring and sustainable changes that cannot be brought about simply by fear and a naked urge for self preservation.

Bill Rammell

Harlow, Labour

1 Climate change is a huge concern: the scale of scientific evidence is now overwhelming. It's probably the biggest public policy challenge we in the UK as well as the wider international community face. As the recent Stern Review has shown, it poses a major threat to the stability of our national and global economy on a scale that would outstrip the Great Depression of the 1930s. Human life will be at risk in many areas of the globe raising the prospect of mass migration to escape the consequences which in itself would bring terrible instability, and the wonderful range of animal and plant species across the planet is under threat. Our quality of life as we know it in both the developed and developing world is at risk if changes are not made.

2 Ultimately whatever we do in Britain won't really make a difference if we can't persuade other countries to join us in the effort, particularly nations like America, Russia, India and China. The broad foundations for UK policy are already largely in place but we need to expand them still further. For example, we do need to ensure that climate change costs are factored into future economic transactions and our proposals to augment the EU Emissions Trading Scheme will enable us to do that. Improving our energy efficiency is also key. The Climate Change Levy has been helpful in this regard but we need to do more. Things like changes to Building Regulations to improve domestic energy efficiency by up to 40% will also help.

As a Foreign Office Minister I launched the international Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership a couple of years ago. I think investment in renewables and energy efficiency can make a huge contribution in persuading the developing world in particular to change their approach and I'd like to see this programme develop further. The Government's recent announcement of an initiative to work with partners particularly in South and Central America to tackle deforestation will also, if we can get their support, help mobilise resources to conserve forestry. The destruction of forestry across the globe is a major contributory factor to climate change so if we can help broker an international agreement it will make a big difference.

I believe that further investment in clean energy technology must also play its part. We're committed to a £1 billion international R&D partnership for this. Finally, I think that here at home we also need to move to developing the next stage of nuclear energy provision. I know that there are real challenges in relation to disposal, but ultimately nuclear energy does provide us with a way of limiting carbon emissions from energy production.

3 Since early this Summer I've been promoting the Energy Savings Trust's "10 Steps To Tackle Climate Change" in my constituency. Governments must do their bit but so must individuals and the key to this is raising awareness locally on the ground about the small steps we can all take in our own lives to make a contribution. So I've written a local newspaper column on the ten steps, the info is on my website, and I've distributed information sheets at the widely attended Harlow Town Show and my annual Garden Party, as well as my bi-monthly coffee mornings. I'm also making the changes in my home to implement these steps. It's basic things like turning down the thermostat, introducing energy saving light bulbs, ensuring the video doesn't get left on standby, and switching off taps and lights.

Now that we have the economic evidence of the Stern Review, I'm also working up some ideas that I plan to put to a couple of large businesses associated with the constituency to see whether they're willing to help play their part in raising awareness locally and regionally and making a direct contribution

through their corporate social responsibility agenda's to reducing their own carbon footprints and helping invest in renewables in the developing world. The details are in their infancy but I'm hopeful that they will see the merit of getting involved and doing the right thing.

John Randall

Uxbridge, Conservative

1 Climate Change has become an important issue, as dealing with the undisputed fact that the world is warming will shape how Britain and the world are affected in the future. The rise in greenhouse gases already impacts on our lives, and the threat will increase unless action is taken.

2 Britain's role is key, not simply as an country that emits 2% of world emissions. As an historical emitter, we have a moral duty to act, but Britain's role will predominantly be as a financial centre for investment, research and development into clean technologies.

3 As a Vice Chairman of the All Party Group on Sustainable Aviation, I play a part in investigating how to make air travel sustainable, reduce emissions and improve air quality. I oppose the expansion of airports like Heathrow, close to my constituency, and around Britain.

Nick Raynsford

Greenwich & Woolwich, Labour

1 One of the most pernicious features of the 24/7 society we live in is the assumption by large numbers of lobbyists that they can demand an instant response from MPs to often grossly oversimplified questions or to give simplistic commitments on often complex subjects. This tends to debase the political process into a crude exercise in striking postures and spouting soundbites.

In your defence, I have to say you have sent us a detailed and generally well-researched publication as the basis for your questions, albeit not allowing us much time to read and absorb the contents before responding. It also concerns probably the most important issue that today's politicians have to face, so I am breaking my normal rule of not responding to such circulars from people who are not my constituents. That answers your first question.

2 As to the second, I believe that the most significant contribution that Britain can make is to give a lead both by example and by pressing other countries to sign up to practical measures that can achieve real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decade. Our leadership role both in respect of Kyoto and the G8 summit last year was important, but much more needs to be done to counter complacency and short-term self interest which remains widespread. Hopefully the publication and dissemination of the Stern report will help move the debate on.

3 I have been active in my constituency in promoting the principles of sustainable development, and in particular encouraging exemplar projects such as the Greenwich millennium Village which demonstrates the scope for improving the environmental performance of new housing schemes. It is vital that we do ratchet up energy efficiency in buildings which contribute a very significant proportion of total carbon emissions.

John Redwood

Wokingham, Conservative

1 Both main UK political parties now agree that climate change is a major challenge facing the world, which needs urgent and stronger action on a global basis.

2 The UK can try to make a difference by using its influence in the world to get global agreement to stronger action to tackle it jointly. We need global agreements that include the USA, China and India. The UK government is close to the USA and should have good contacts with the Indian administration. The fact that the UK only accounts for 3% of world emissions should not deter us from taking action ourselves. We can each make a difference to the CO? we put into the atmosphere by our daily choices, and we can all try to get our government (local and national) to curb its large appetite for carbon.The UK could also help by creating a favourable business climate here for enterprising businesses that find ways to harness technology in the cause of lower emissions and less carbon based fuel burn.

3 I have changed cars, so that my latest vehicle is 75% more fuel efficient than the one I was driving a decade ago. I have just installed a condenser boiler in my house to improve the fuel efficiency of my heating system, and have raised the standards of insulation. I ensure I never leave computers or TVs on stand-by when I not about to use them, switching them off completely overnight or when I am out at work. I have cut down my air miles susbtantially, taking holidays in England and preferring to talk to people overseas by conference call rather than by a visit wherever possible. I have reduced the running hours of my domestic heating system and the temperature of the thermostats when I am out at work, and have installed energy efficient light bulbs in the lights I use most.

I have sent a 10 point plan to the government, proposing the following:

A) Cut the amount of ministerial and official air travel substituting conferecne calls, grouping visits to adjacent countries,using the train for continental European destinations more often.

B) Use public transport planes more often and private planes less

C) Improve the thermal insulaiton of public buildings

D) Introduce energy saving bulbs throughout the public estate

E) Change the temperature settings for heating and air conditioning systems

F) Switch street lights off late at night in the many locations where few people are out and about

G) Replace dirty and inefficient elements in the public transport fleet

H)Reduce the use of Ministerial cars ­ e.g. walk to work

I)Choose cleaner cars,and stop the EU making us all run with headlights on during the day

J)Develop an electricity policy that encourages cleaner generation

Andy Reed

Loughborough, Labour

1 Clearly climate change is the global challenge of our generation. For those of us with children we genuinely have something to worry about for our and their future. I believe alongside global security and global poverty/economics it is one of the big 3 issues (although of course all are interlinked).

2 Britain can play a role in not only meeting its own challenging targets but can help broker the international agreements that need to be put in place to achieve the necessary changes. Britain has shown it can lead the way on tackling global poverty and using this experience it could and should in my opinion do the same at a European and international level for climate change.

3 I started to undertake an audit some years ago of my own lifestyle and have continued to make changes in light of information available. I do think a one stop authoritive stop for practical advice would help many of us who want to make big changes in our lifestyles.

I have joined an organisation ­ The Energy Foundation and have worked with Tony Marmont (a local environmental lobbyist who has spent millions of his own money promoting and using alternative energy) and promoted Intelligent Energy the world leader in fuel cell technology locally. I committed to reducing my emissions by 20% along with other MPs. We walk to school, I walk to work, I cycle I recycle (we don't use unnecessary packaging in the first place if it can be avoided) I have used low energy light bulbs for years etc etc. Like most people I need to do even more and I will be having a professional audit of my house for making further improvements in energy efficiency and micro generation. I will try and cut down even further the use of the car and will seriously consider an alternative fuel vehicle when I replace my existing car.

Like many people we try but are still not doing everything we can or are able to do. As I say, an audit available for everybody to use from a trusted source would be very helpful.

Willie Rennie

Dunfermline & Fife West, LibDem

1 Very. It's one of the biggest challenges the world faces.

2 Set more ambitious targets on carbon emissions by following the lead set by Nicol Stephen, Minister for Enterprise in Scotland, who has set the target of 100% of all electricity to be generated from renewable sources. The Lib Dems Green Tax Switch proposals shift tax from work to pollution.

3 I have shifted from using the plane to the train to travel to and from Westminster every week. I am also a frenzied recycler.

Linda Riordan

Halifax, Labour

1 I see it as the highest priority, facing this country and the world.

2 Britain needs to reach its Carbon emissions target, continue to promote Energy efficiency and carbon reduction and put Pressure on USA to deal with the massive emissions they produce.

3 I have with other MPs (Colin Challen MP Leading) pledged to reduce my Carbon foot print. I support the expansion of Public transport and energy efficiency and support many of the proposals of the Environmental Audit Committee of which I am a member.

Andrew Robathan

Blaby, Conservative; Vice-Chair, Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group

1 The issue of climate change is probably the greatest long term problem facing the United Kingdom and the world as a whole. Terrorism is of course extremely important at the moment but may not last ­ whereas climate change is with us and will have a profound effect on the lives of everybody in the world, especially our children and grandchildren.

2 Every country needs to take action, but Britain is in a position, as a developed country with membership of the G8, the UN Security Council, etc...to show leadership to the rest of the world. Furthermore, I hope that we might be able to influence the United States of America- as well as many other countries ­ taking this problem as seriously as it should be.

3 As an individual I have planted a great many trees, I have a photovoltaic roof in the constituency, I try my best to reduce energy usage and eschew using my car whenever possible, sharing a car or taking public transport. I have been the Chairman and now Vice- Chairman of the All Party Cycling Group for over ten years now and I bicycle around London. I have been and remain the Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group since I first came to Parliament and remain committed to the efficient use of energy and to renewable energy. As regards action with my constituents, I spend some time trying to persuade sceptics of the need for action- and I am personally hopeful of being able to establish two large wind generators behind my house.

Hugh Robertson

Faversham & Mid Kent, Conservative

1 Climate change is one of the most important issues of the age.

2 Britain needs to take action both on a national basis, such as introducing a new Climate Change Bill, and by encouraging individuals to take responsibility for their own actions to ensure that we all cut down on activities that damage the environment.

3 I talk to groups in the constituency regularly about this issue, particularly in schools, and am looking at a series of energy saving measures in my own life.

John Robertson

Glasgow North West, Labour

1 Very important to the planet.

2. Close fossil fuel power stations and invest in nuclear and renewables.

3 Promote energy savings.

Dan Rogerson

North Cornwall, LibDem

1 It's clear that Climate Change is the greatest threat the World's population faces today ­ more serious even than the spectre of increasingly sophisticated and lethal terrorist attacks. The Government's Chief Scientist, Sir David King, acknowledges this himself, even if Ministers are reluctant to take real action.

2 I support absolutely the case for a Climate Change Bill, which would set binding targets on Government for reducing emissions. Too often the Government has gone in the wrong direction, seeking to increase the UK's permitted greenhouse gas emissions under European rules. We must reduce our own CO? output if we are to convince developing countries of the imperative to do so.

Targets though, are not enough. We need real action to meet them. I was pleased to support our package of "Green Tax" proposals at the recent Liberal Democrat conference. We've laid down the gauntlet to the Tories, whose warm words on this issue will do nothing to cool the planet. I look forward to seeing more plans from our Environment and Treasury teams next year, when they put forward further comprehensive proposals to cut carbon emissions across the economy.

We have a moral obligation to future generations across the planet to lead the world in this field. To do so we have to engage with our European partners, as we did successfully in this field. Alas, we cannot rely on the present US Administration to engage in this leadership. We may only contribute 2% of global emissions but Britain can punch above its weight to bring worldwide CO? output down.

It's important we all make our own, personal contribution to tackling climate change. That's the theme which underlies our "Green Tax Switch" proposals ­ a greener lifestyle should be a cheaper lifestyle.

3 For my own part, I never fly from Cornwall to Westminster; I find the train more comfortable and more efficient. I campaign for better rural public transport because at the moment it's impossible to get around my constituency effectively without a car. Because I do have to drive a lot, I have quite a small engine in the car, and next time I'm going to look carefully at getting a hybrid electric car. I support my local food producers vigorously and feel it is vital that we support attempts to make local food competitive. My family always make sure to turn off our electronic appliances at the plug or button. It's easy to find low-energy products when you replace appliances, so I always look for 'A' rated white goods when I have to replace them. Water metering has encouraged my family to think carefully about how we use water. Clearly there's a lot more we could be doing as a family; we will be looking for ways to cut our carbon emissions still further in the future.

Andrew Rosindell

Romford, Conservative

1 Climate change is undoubtedly the single biggest issue facing our planet today. The debate on this subject is universal and as an issue it does not prejudice or discriminate against who it affects. A three degree rise in temperature is what awaits us by the end of the century. This may sound insignificant but the consequences for animal life, agriculture, plants and vegetation more generally could prove catastrophic for any possibilities of ensuring a comfortable, habitable and sustainable environment for future generations.

A cataclysmic future could await us should we remain impassive and apathetic toward the crisis on our door step. Failing to meet the standards and principles set out by the Kyoto Protocol on climate change is a sure fire way to ensure this possible future is a certainty.

2 A political catchphrase in recent times has been "reducing your Carbon footprint", but what essentially does this mean? What is "carbon footprint"? And how do I reduce mine?

There is in this case, substance behind the "buzz" rhetoric. A carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide or CO2 emitted through the combustion of fossil fuels; in the case of an individual or household, as part of their daily lives; or a product or commodity in reaching market. We must act therefore as individuals to ensure the nation's footprint is reduced globally.

Practically, the implementation of a Climate Change Bill would focus Government attention on creating a framework for a move toward low carbon economy. Switching to renewable energy resources and developing non-polluting technologies will enable Britain to lead by example on the issue of climate change in the international community.

3 I stand by what I have said previously, that we must act as individuals and take responsibility for reducing our own carbon footprint, to ensure that the nation's carbon emissions as a whole are reduced.

My initial steps to reduce my own personal carbon footprint have begun at home. I have started with simple things like switching to energy efficient light bulbs, turning electrical appliances off when not using them or when I am away from the house, converting to a renewable electricity supplier and recycling all domestic household and garden waste.

Paul Rowen

Rochdale, LibDem

1 This is in my view the biggest and single most important issue which we face this generation. The clock is ticking and we only have a short time to act. Future generations are relying on us. I've travelled both to Pakistan and East Africa this year and have seen first hand the effects climate change is having.

2 As one of the "developed" countries we can and must take a lead ­ both in Europe and getting agreement worldwide. We need a Kyoto Mark 2 and we need to be modifying our aid budget to support climate change initiatives in the developing world. Green taxes and incentitives for energy saving/energy switch are also needed.

3 I recently held a "Climate Change Conference in conjunction with Friends of the Earth in Rochdale. This was a great success and we came up with the top 5 things individuals, councils and the government can do to help combat climate change. These will be published shortly on my web site. I am in the process of conducting a constituency wide environment survey which will help hightlight environment issues.

Individually I have switched my car from a 2.5l petrol engine to a diesel engine and I have just fitted a condenser boiler in my house. I am looking at what other enery saving things I can do.

Joan Ruddock

Lewisham, Deptford, Labour

1 I believe Climate Change is the most important issue on both the national and international agenda. If we do not embrace the necessary change in the UK we cannot expect others to do so. Global climate change unchecked will be more catastrophic than conventional wars and will negate all the international aid and development effort to end poverty.

2 Britain can drive forward a domestic agenda by reducing energy demand, improving energy efficiency and investing in renewable energy, thus realising at least the government's aim of a 60% cut is CO2 by 2050. In doing so new industries will emerge offering sustainable jobs, maintaining prosperity and increasing exports of green technologies. Only by demonstrating our resolve at home will we be able to continue the international leadership Britain has given on climate change.

3 In my constituency I have been a vocal champion of recycling and renewable energy. I have encouraged my local authority to do more recycling and I talk to developers about green energy. My private members bill, which became law three years ago, placed a duty on local authorities to introduce doorstep recycling (with great success). As an individual I have improved the insulation in my house, installed a highly efficient condensing boiler and changed all possible lights to low energy bulbs. I haven't had a home energy check but I constantly observe the other 9 of the Energy Savings Trust's 10 point check list. I am a fanatical recycler, including a green cone for anaerobic digestion of food waste. I still use my car more that I should but am trying to address this. I travel by train where possible and will offset my personal holiday flights.

Bob Russell

Colchester, LibDem

I was asked, a couple of years' ago in a questionnaire, whether I considered "The threat to the environment is more a threat to the world than global terrorism?" ­ to which I replied thus: "Terror attacks are here and there ­ attacks on the environment are everywhere!" I still hold to that view. The dire consequences which Climate Change can bring about, not overnight but in a relatively few years, could see world-wide devastation on a scale to match those of Biblical proportions.

I am not a recent convert to environmental issues. I was practising what others are only now beginning to preach a good 20 years ago. In 1987, as the newly-elected Leader of Colchester Borough Council, I introduced a " green agenda" which led to the Council quickly establishing itself as the "greenest" in the East of England. The previous year, as Mayor of Colchester, I introduced a tree planting campaign which set in motion a programme which has seen more than 50,000 trees planted in the past two decades in Britain's Oldest Recorded Town. I also pioneered the establishment of new wildflower meadows after learning that something like 97 per cent of Britain's wildflower meadows had been lost since the Second World War.

Last year on 18th May, in the second adjournment debate following the 2005 General Election, I urged the Government to follow the example of Colchester and encourage local authorities and others across the country to establish wildflower meadows. Local initiatives can develop into national programmes. For many years I have grown trees from seed and planted them at schools and elsewhere. My environmental performances at the House of Commons led me, in 2004, to being nominated as Parliamentary Environment Champion. At Environment Questions tomorrow (2nd November) I shall be urging the Government to encourage local authorities to plant more trees in urban neighbourhoods to help deal with pollution.

We can all do our bit to change habits and lifestyles. Government leadership is crucial. Energy reduction and energy efficiency measures go hand-in-hand. I intend to pursue domestic energy production measures. I have a car, but I already cover more miles through using public transport ­ and I do a lot of local walking. I shall continue my efforts to get government, at all levels, to invest more in proper public transport.

I like to think that my track record in public life shows that the " green agenda" has always been uppermost in words and deeds. We are all in this together. Social historians will look back on the 20th Century as the most destructive in the history of Planet Earth, not just in terms of awful wars but also the way its natural resources were abused and misused by Man. Climate Change is with us. We have got to learn to live with the consequences. We cannot put the clock back, but we can (and must) take measures ­ in our homes and in our everyday life ­ which slows the pace to a level where civilisation can adapt before it is too late.

Christine Russell

City of Chester, Labour

1 The most important challenge faced by the world today.

2 Britain has already taken an international lead in tackling the Climate Change problem. Demonstrating UK commitment is the recent Stern Review which highlights the need for an international framework to cut carbon emissions. The Climate Change Bill that will hopefully be included in the Queen's Speech will mark another important step forward.

3 Chester is one of the first cities in the world to offer its citizens a personal conduit to counter Climate Change. The carbon reduction system known as "CRed" works like a personal trainer to encourage and help Chester citizens to make and meet pledges in the cutting of their carbon emissions.

Alex Salmond

Banff & Buchan, SNP; Leader Scottish National Party

1 You will be pleased to note that I have already signed the EDM 178, a copy of which is attached for your information. I have also forwarded a request to the Prime Minister that a Climate Change Bill is included in his Queen's speech next month, although I have grave concerns that he will use any such to try and further impose support of nuclear power.

2 As you will be aware, the Scottish National Party and I share your concerns over climate changes, and are in full support of alternative energy as a means of drastically reducing carbon emissions. Scotland harbours some 25% of the renewable energy resources in Europe and the SNP would support the exploitation of these in favour of carbon-based technology. I can understand that huge onshore wind farms will continue to meet with a high level of objection on aesthetic grounds, however, the energy-producing potential for offshore wind farms is greater by far, and I see that as being an optimum choice.

I have also actively promoted the introduction of "carbon capture" technology being implemented in offshore oil fields, and support the proposa l to construct the largest industrial scale carbon-capture power station in the world, right herein the constituency. The Scottish National Party is also committed to a nuclear-free Scotland, to avoid the hazards of even more nuclear waste being left as a legacy to future generations. I enclose a document to the SNP policy on climate change, and trust that these policies will meet with your approval in the quest to reduce carbon emissions to an acceptable level.

3 On a personal level, I have been investigating the viability of micro-generation at my own home and, within the extremely demanding schedule of MP and Part Leader, have instructed that my diary be planned to reduce travel to the minimum.

I commend you on your laudable commitment to averting climate change, and note that you have joined forces with the Independent to raise awareness on the urgent issue of climate change in what you describe as "the most important book Rough Guides has published". I trust that you will therefore forgive me if I express some difficulty in understanding the paradox of such a publication being produced by a company whose objective is to produce travel guides which undoubtedly have the effect of encouraging airfare to faraway, exotic places. I am also aware that The Independent has been receiving the attentions of the MEDIA LENS website for offering a " tantalising glimpse of fundamental truths before being distracted on subsequent pages by ads for cars, cheap flights and British Petroleum's greenwashing "target neutral" campaign.

As I note that you propose to publish the responses received, I anticipate that I may be in receipt of queries to that effect. Perhaps you would therefore be so kind as to reciprocate by giving me an indication of what direct actions your own companies propose to take to reduce carbon emissions, and whether that might entail addressing the apparent conflict of interests outlined above?

Martin Salter

Reading West, Labour

1 Climate change is one of the biggest threats the planet and our way of life that faces. Climate change is not something with which we can adopt a wait to see what happens approach as by that point it will be too late. There is a point of no return in terms of climate change and even now the best we can hope to achieve is a levelling off of Green House Gas emissions and that would require serious and concerted effort from the international community now. The Stern Review also makes the interesting point that the longer we leave tackling the issue of climate change the more it will cost us both financially in terms of global output, and in terms of the social costs. Climate change will therefore shape and affect every aspect of our lives if we fail to meet it head on and immediately.

2 The difficulty facing Britain is that even if we stopped producing carbon emissions tomorrow that would only account for 2% of the worlds CO?. We need to achieve as much as we can domestically and therefore lead the way for the international community and international organisations to achieve global solutions. Domestically, the move to a low carbon economy will require a combination of regulation, taxation and cap and trade initiatives. Internationally, we need to continue to form global agreements such as Kyoto, we need to develop international emission trading schemes and energy efficient technology programmes, and enable developing countries to progress in a carbon efficient way. Most importantly we need everyone to buy into the urgency of tackling climate change through both incentives and education that will help us take the tough decisions needed such as those regarding aviation.

3 I have always supported environmental policies in my parliamentary work, and am also a member of the Labour environment group, SERA. In my constituency I am currently working on green initiatives in transport and waste. Individually I have most recently undertaken the Energy Savings Trust 20% challenge where I pledged to save 20% of my energy and I also encouraged my constituents to follow suit. If we all make the small, simple changes that we can in our lives these will add up to make a real difference ­ and behaviour change will be crucial in tackling climate change.

Adrian Sanders

Torbay, LibDem

1 The evidence that climate change is already having an impact on our lives is abundant. From changes in agriculture to changes in the weather, the time has come for us to take notice. Areas of my own constituency, Torbay, are already at risk from serious flooding as a consequence.

2 If everyone in Britain just changed a few of their daily habits we could cut our CO? emissions by 20%. This is not just about imposing targets on business, although they are major contributors; this is about us all realising that we are living beyond the planets means. Britain has the chance to lead the world on this issue, but we must lead by example.

3 Switching off the electrical appliances rather than leaving on standby) at home and in both my constituency and Westminster office is such an easy way to reduce the energy we use, who needs the printer at three in the morning! My constituency office and my home has energy saving light bulbs and I have started walking, rather than driving, when going to my local shops.

Mohammad Sarwar

Glasgow Central, Labour

1 Climate change is one of the biggest single issues afgfecting us today. It is imperative that we not only educate our children to realise the effects on the environment as a result of the way we live our lives. Science and media coverage has meant that there is awareness of the damage being caused and something future generations will suffer as a result of.

3 Personally recycling of items, less aerosols in the house, using car as little as possible. Everyone has a part to play.

Lee Scott

Ilford North, Conservative

1 The addressing of the concerns over climate change is absolutely vital. We only have this one planet on which with our current technology we can live. If we don't take action human kind could end up going the way of the dinosaurs.

2 We need to take a world wide lead on this issue. Britain must really cut its green house gas emissions and not just have senior politicians talking about reductions.

3 I am working to persuade the local authority to look favourably on planning applications for 'green' improvements by businesses and residents. I am seeking to have work done at my home and I plan to install solar panels. I drive a smaller car, which I try to use less frequently, and am changing to low energy versions when my light bulbs need replacing.

Andrew Selous

South West Bedfordshire, Conservative

1 Climate Change is one of the very greatest threats not only to Britain but the whole world. I am tired of people saying that it is an issue that will only affect our children and grandchildren. The World Health Organisation says that around 150,000 people are dying in the developing world today as a direct result of climate change causing vast areas not to be fertile anymore.

2 Britain needs to start reducing its carbon emissions fast. We can reduce the amount of energy we use, increasing the supply of energy that is carbon free. I believe that we need to focus on ensuring that manufacturers, of cars in particular, start producing vehicles which emit far less carbon emissions. We urgently need a proper supply network of liquid petroleum gas, liquid hydrogen and bio-ethanol. We should focus on the availability and affordability of carbon free alternatives to the ways people are currently living. Lastly it is vital that all nations put in place robust mechanisms to monitor what happens internationally and then have the power to act if countries are not taking the appropriate action. Progress has been very slow on this issue.

3 I have changed the electricity supplies in both my homes to suppliers that use wind energy. I have also upgraded the double glazing and insulation in my home and have recently installed an energy efficient boiler. I have replaced my current light bulbs with energy efficient ones and I also ensure that we maximise our recycling in both our homes. I travel by train rather than car or plane whenever possible.

Grant Shapps

Welwyn/Hatfield, Conservative

1 As a member of Friends of the Earth I believe climate Change is one of the key global challenges facing us today. It is vital that we take steps to limit the effects of climate change for future generations.

2 Britain needs to set an example to the rest of the world in its action to reduce Climate Change and particularly carbon emissions. Suitable frameworks need to be put in place to demonstrate serious commitment to reducing carbon emission whilst investment in alternative energy sources and fuels must be a priority. Britain needs to take the lead on this crucial issue and push towards a global agreement on Climate Change.

3 My family and I are committed to reducing our carbon emissions wherever possible and we are currently in the process of investigating installation of solar panels in our home. In the our constituency I am delighted that, by working with my Conservative colleagues on Welwyn Hatfield Council, we have become one of the best areas for recycling in the country and are constantly looking for ways to improve still further.

Clare Short

Birmingham, Ladywood, Labour

1 Climate Change is the most important issue for the future of human civilisation.

2 Britain can make exemplary change like Sweden and work for a contraction and convergence agreement internationally.

3 I am reducing my own emissions. I have bought a Toyota prius, changed to a renewable electricity supplier and am in the process of installing a ground source heating system. I am also using all speaking opportunities to say this should be the central issue for our foreign policy.

Siôn Simon

Birmingham, Erdington, Labour

1 The importance of climate change simply cannot be underestimated- it is an issue of paramount importance that requires urgent action both by our Government and the international community. The publication of the Stern Review earlier this week underlines just how pervasive the effects of climate change will be on all spheres of our lives; from the environment we take for granted, to business and the global economy.

2 I believe Britain can, and must, take this opportunity to lead to international community in its fight against climate change. The British Government has already set out clear intentions regarding tackling climate change domestically. For example, the recently published Energy Review outlines how the Government intends to investigate the merits of carbon budgeting.

On a worldwide scale, whilst it is clear that tackling climate change internationally requires a full and comprehensive global consensus, I believe action on this issue will be most effective when Governments across the world realise how important it is to set strong domestic targets to tackle climate change. By strongly backing the Stern Review, the Government has this week indicated how seriously it takes its role as a facilitator for change in the international community.

3 With all this talk of high international politics, it is sometimes easy to overlook the impact one individual can make. As such, I believe the most effective way to get everyone involved in the fight against climate change is show just what a difference small measures can make, like unplugging your phone charger, insulating you roof, and turning your TV off instead of leaving it on standby. Not only do these measures help conserve energy, they can also make you significant savings on your household bills.

By encouraging my constituents to make these changes I want everyone in my constituency to understand that climate change isn't an abstract concept that only politicians and environmental campaigners talk about. It's a real issue that affects us all, and whats more an issue we can all do something about.

Alan Simpson

Nottingham South, Labour

1 Climate Change is simply the biggest challenge we face; a challenge to life itself. We probably only have a decade to make fundamental changes to the way we live ­ five years to change policies and five years to get them to deliver radical change. If we delay we will be overwhelmed by nature's 'feedback systems' to the damage we have done over the last 30 years. The good news is that we still have time, if only we have the courage.

2 There have to be fundamental changes in our energy markets, housing policies and pollution targets. Carbon trading is a crap idea; a complete scam. We have to do the following:

* force energy companies to buy back renewable energy at four times the price of energy they supply (as in Germany).

* encourage the formation of common ownership energy companies to sell energy services rather than energy consumption (and give energy generating systems to the poor)

* withhold planning permission for any new building that does not recycle its own water and generate at least 25% of its own energy

* set (non-tradable) carbon reduction target, with heavy penalties for not meeting them

* create an ethical bonds market for people to save into 'sustainability' and require 25% of insurance and pension fund investment in the UK to go into UK sustainability programmes

* shift food subsidies into local food systems rather than globalised food markets

* bring water back into public ownership

3 Personally, I have designed and constructed my own eco-home, which generates more electricity than it consumes. Any excess energy I do not use I sell back to the grid. I would like to be in a position to share this energy with my neighbours and local community, and for them to reciprocate in turn when I need energy. This will be the important next step for individuals and communities taking ownership of the energy they consume (and waste). I have also installed a water recycling system and used reclaimed and recycled materials to lessen the ecological footprint of the house.

Locally I have been working on developing a zero-carbon community in one of the most deprived areas in my constituency.

Andy Slaughter

Ealing, Acton & Shepherd's Bush, Labour

1 Very. It's easy to say that it is the most important issue facing mankind, but cliché though that be, it's not far from the truth. Some people are more immediately impacted by other problems like war and famine: these problems all need addressing as part of a coordinated strategy. Good husbandry, where the planet is concerned, will have beneficial knock-on effects on most other areas of human endeavour. I am resigned to the fact that in a few million years the Sun will implode and the climate will change for good, but I see no reason why we should give nature a helping hand with the process.

2 We need to continue pursuing agreed targets and pressure other members of the international community to do likewise. The Government takes a bit of stick from some quarters ­ there are so many different views currently in the public domain that the Government's view is not going to coincide exactly with every pressure group's ­ but I think its heart is in the right place on this issue.

3 Take public transport where possible; the usual domestic things like energy saving light bulbs, waste recycling, not overfilling kettles plus of course, the latest craze, not leaving electrical things on standby. It remains to be seen whether the good start on recycling and energy conservation made by the Labour councils that covered my constituency when I was elected will flourish under new management elected last May ­ I will do everything I can to persuade constituents of the need for personal action.

Andrew Smith

Oxford East, Labour

1 Climate change is one of the biggest and most important challenges we face as a world and as individuals, but I believe it's one that we can ­ and must ­ tackle.

2 Britain can do a lot, and is doing a lot, both domestically and on the international stage. It's important the UK builds on measures like the Climate Change Levy and our emissions trading scheme, as well as investing in and incentivising energy conservation (buildings, light-bulbs, workplaces, shops) and increasing investment in sustainable energy sources. I beleive large-scale off shore wind power has a big contribution to make. The Stern Report is is a really good stimulus to further action, here and internationally. Britain can't solve climate change alone, which makes it all the more vital that our government takes the lead in encouraging and supporting other countries, particularly large and growing economies such as US, China, India, and Brazil, to cut emissions and pursue sustainable solutions. The government's recent work on the Gleneagles Dialogue is a good example of this. We need to do more to relate the global challenges to the difference people can make in their everyday lives, and give good feedback on progress made, reinforcing that positive change is achievable.

3 This year I sponsored a Private Members Bill, which was proposed by my fellow Labour MP Mark Lazarowicz, to make it easier for people and communities to generate their own renewable energy and putting a duty on the government to formulate a climate change strategy. The Bill has now become an Act of Parliament. I am doing what I can personally ­ have changed to a more energy efficient condencing boiler, recycling, using more energy efficient light bulbs, taking my bike instead of the car more often, switching domestic phone lines to the Phone Co-op, which offsets its carbon footprint, and trying to cut down on energy wastage in my constituency office. I have also spoken out in support of of Oxfordshire's local community wind farm ­ Westmill Wind Farm Co-operative ­ which is being developed in South Oxfordshire. I am pressing for new homes and shops in the area to be built to higher energy conservation standards.

Angela Smith

Basildon & East Thurrock, Labour

1 Probably the most crucial issue facing us today.

2 Britain can take a lead in encouraging global action and leading by example. The Stern Report, in looking at the economic consequences, could further encourage global action ­ clearly inaction is not an option. Action around reducing emissions and supporting energy reduction as well as supporting lifestyle changes are important, as it the support for renewable and sustainable energy sources.

3 I have solar power for water heating in my home, energy efficient lightbulbs, and recycle whenever possible. I've also launched an environment newsletter in the constituency and have tried to create publicity around what individuals can do and the difference it can gain. We need to balance the actions that government can take with personal responsibility.

Sir Robert Smith

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, LibDem

1 Climate Change is a key issue impacting all aspects of life. Whilst there are solar and global phenomena that change our climate there is a strong scientific consensus that human activity is making a major contribution to the current pressure on the planet. Reports like that of Sir Nicholas Stern give a stark warning of what could happen if we do not respond. Locally, the mild autumn we have experienced might be welcome but it is the long term disruption that we have to consider. Research in Aberdeen suggests that the loss of the benefits of the Gulf Stream could mean a dramatically harsher climate for future generations locally.

2 When it was realised that human activity was threatening the health of the planet through damage to the ozone layer that protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation the world responded. As a result that threat is receding. Alone Britain can not save the world but we can play our part by tackling our contribution to the rise in greenhouse gas emissions. We can, also, work for EU wide measures such as the Emissions Trading Scheme to encourage innovative solutions. Here in North East Scotland we helped cut emissions be providing much of the gas that replaced coal. Now the engineering experience developed in the North Sea is being applied to new renewable technologies. Not only do they cut further our carbon emissions they have export potential as well. In addition, with the right incentives, we could see a fully developed carbon capture scheme here in the North East. In addition to reducing our emissions it has the potential to make a real difference for economies such as those of China and India which are highly dependent on carbon fuel sources. Whilst the current US Government may have turned its back on tackling climate change individual states sections of society are rising to the challenge. The current high price of oil is an opportunity for the US to see energy security in non carbon sources.

3 I have worked with local businesses concerned in developing renewable sources of energy. They particularly welcome the Scottish Executives plans to encourage marine renewables. For many years I have supported local organisations such as SCRAF (Save Cash and Reduce Fuel) in promoting energy efficiency and conservation. I used Private Members slot after my election to promote the Health Care and Energy Efficiency Bill aimed at using health professional to ensure people accessed help to improve their homes.

I support the bid to site the new energy institute here in the North East so that we can build on the skills developed locally for international application.

Anne Snelgrove

South Swindon, Labour

1 Climate change extremely important ­ most important long term issue.

2 Britain needs to wake up ­ Spring is earlier, Autumn later with floods, storms and climate warming changing our flora and fauna. People in Swindon want to do their bit but need more information and incentives. I agree with average 3% target to cut carbon emissions p.a. and want to see an end to cheap ­ and no cost ­ flights. I don't understand why some newspapers take strong editorial lines against cheap flights and then offer them to their readers.

3 I have cut down on flights (this year we had a great summer holiday in Devon and Cornwall instead of abroad) and did carbon offset for the one parliamentary visit I made. I also recycle everything possible and make compost. We grow most of our own veg (you should see my parsnips ­ just waiting for the first frost to sample them; can't bear the thought of not being able to grow them in future due to global warming) and cut down our food miles by using farmers markets. I also ruthlessly remove plants that need too much water from my garden ­ despite the drought we did not use the hose once this year.

Nicholas Soames

Mid Sussex, Conservative

1 The issue of climate change is of fundamental importance to all of us and every single person living in this country is involved in it.

2 As to what Great Britain can do to make a difference is yet to be decided but it will involve a coherent, sustainable and viable strategy which will emerge in time.

3 Thirdly, what steps I have taken; I have worked out via the Carbon Trust the full extent of my carbon footprint in my constituency and to compensate I am planting this year 18 trees (old English hardwoods) which I have donated to the Town Councils of Burgess Hill, East Grinstead and Haywards Heath. I am planting the first six trees next week.

Sir Peter Soulsby

Leicester South, Labour

1 Climate change is the biggest immediate threat to the future of hum anity and of our planet.

2 Britain can provide an example; leadership and technology that can all make a difference.

3 As the then Leader of the City Council, I took a major part in the initiatives that led to Leicester being designated Britain's first 'Environment City'. Now as an MP, I have taken an active part in the Inquiry into climate change being undertaken by the House of Commons Environment Committee of which I am a member. I recently welcomed that Committee on its fact finding visit to Leicester.

Caroline Spelman

Meriden, Conservative

1 very important

2 lead by example and persuade other countries to follow suit

3 at work my colleagues and I are focusing on making sure new housing developments are environmentally sustainable and have the infrastructure in place to support them, at home it's about turning thermostats down or off, changing to energy-saving light bulbs, using my bicycle and at the moment re-insulating my loft!

Robert Spink

Castle Point, Conservative

1 There are four key global issues of our time and Climate change is the most important.

2 Show leadership in developing and applying appropriate technologies that will encourage appropriate action by countries like china and India, and also America!

3 I have taken steps to reduce my personal carbon footprint (a year or so ago, through my home and transport) and am now taking the debate into all my six secondary schools to the kids as part of their GCSEs and A levels... I have also raised the issue in Parliament through select Cttees and in articles (Science in Parliament Summer edition) and debates and also on the international stage in the USA and Australia.

Dr Phyllis Starkey

Milton Keynes South West, Labour

1 The most important issue facing all of us if we take seriously our responsibilities to future generations

2 We need to lead by example. The government has committed us to targets for reducing greenhouse gases that are very ambitious but it can't deliver unless we all play our part. If the UK is doing more than its share to beat climate change, it strengthens our voice in international negotiations and helps to persuade other countries to also reduce emissions.

3 All the new houses in Milton Keynes are being built to much higher environmental standards and in ways that encourage people to use public transport. I am campaigning for better bus services and re-opening the rail line from Oxford to Bletchley. Personally I walk or use public transport when in London and all our light bulbs are energy efficient.

Anthony Steen

Totnes, Conservative

1 Climate change is one of the greatest problems facing the world today and I believe that urgent action is necessary not just from Government but from every one of us.

2 I believe Government could do more to invest in forms of renewable energy other than solely wind power. I have been involved with the Severn Navigation Restoration Trust's campaign for a series of hydro-electric generating weirs along the Severn and I believe Government should be investing more in such projects.

I am also convinced by the huge energy savings offered by Combined Heat and Power stations, and by having a more decentralised energy system, and believe that not just central government but local government should be following Woking Council's lead and pursuing this objective to make it a reality, as it is elsewhere in Europe.

I have supported the campaign for a Climate Change Bill which would establish annual binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, together with an independent monitor to check progress towards these targets.

I am also entirely supportive of a 'greener' tax system, not to increase overall tax revenues, but to encourage less polluting and more environmentally aware behaviour, and to help drive down our CO? emissions.

3 I have switched from driving to my constituency to catching the train ­ a less CO? intensive form of travel. I am also investigating installing a ground source heat pump and wind turbine at my home in Devon.

I have also publicised my commitment to the follow steps to reduce the energy I consume:

* When making hot drinks only boil as much water as I need

* Turn down my thermostat by 1° C

* Switch off appliances and not leave them on standby

* Replace 3 light bulbs with Energy Saving Recommended ones

* Buy Energy Saving Recommended appliances

* Wash my laundry at 30° C

Ian Stewart

Eccles, Labour

1 Tackling climate change is a key political priority. I know from campaigning in my constituency that the public is very concerned about climate change. There is considerable interest in measures which individuals can take at home and at work to reduce energy consumption. Equally there is a firm expectation that the Government will do more and let people know what is being done. A consensus seems to be developing that we must now be looking to both legislative and fiscal measures to tackle climate change.

2 Britain can make a difference by both taking effective action to reduce domestic carbon dioxide emission levels and pressing home the urgency of the problem at a global level. We must offer developing countries, particularly those whose economies are growing rapidly, practical solutions to their high demand for energy.

3 At a local level I have met with my active Friends of the Earth group and unaffiliated constituents to discuss what can be done. I have promoted grants to improve home energy efficiency and supported my local council in the development of its waste recycling strategy. I have sent out a questionnaire on climate change and advised constituents on how they can make a difference. On a personal level, I am doing my level best not to leave electrical appliances on standby!

Dr Howard Stoate

Dartford, Labour

Climate change is the greatest common challenge faced by the human race today. It is a challenge that can only increase over time, and its effects are irreversible. That is why I have personally taken steps to reduce the amount of energy I use, amongst other things by moving towards a paperless constituency office and pursuing the installation of a wind turbine at my home. In this way, every individual can make a difference to climate change. Therefore, I believe that individuals should be encouraged, through education and government incentives, to save energy in their homes, and that manufacturers should be encouraged by the same means to produce more energy-efficient products. In addition, the idea of carbon rationing, with the allocation of individual yearly carbon quotas, is worth serious consideration for the future.

Gavin Strang

Edinburgh East, Labour

1 Climate change is hugely important and needs to be given a much higher priority at every level of government, and by all of us as individuals.

2 Britain must take effective action to further cut back our greenhouse gas emissions. Britain could and should be far more energy efficient, as an economy and at home. Large amounts of energy are being wasted, including in poorly insulated housing. Higher building standards are required for new homes. Cleaner sources of power, such as CHP and solar panels, should be encouraged.

3 I have cut back on car useage and take public transport more in Edinburgh, where we have an excellent bus service. I have also cut back on air travel, for pleasure and work, and take the train in preference to the plane between Edinburgh and London whenever I can.

Gary Streeter

South West Devon, Conservative

1 Probably the most important issue facing us all; bigger than the war on terror.

2 We should encourage every UK citizen to reduce his/her carbon footprint on an annual basis. More info is required to let people know the impact of certain choices (i.e. if I do x how much will it save?).

This would seek to harness the interest of younger people in this issue. Once we make more progress ourselves we can do more to apply global pressure

3 Some months ago I resolved to try and reduce my carbon emissions by 5% pa; my wife and I have gone to one car, not two and plan a smaller car next time, I now travel to London on the train and we are exploring greener ways to power up our grade one listed house (not easy!).

Andrew Stunell

Hazel Grove, LibDem

1 It is a crucial issue for the whole planet, with the likelihood of very dangerous feedback to famine, disease, conflict, migration, and biodiversity. Even in our relatively secure part of the biosphere in the UK flooding, drought, storm damage, and disease are increasingly costly consequences of climate change that will impact on our economic performance and society in the future.

2 Reduce its dependence on carbon emissions as the driver for economic growth and wealth creation. Make a start by halving carbon emissions from our homes ­ currently the most wasteful in Europe ­ so cutting bills, improving comfort, and literally bringing home to people that it doesn't need a hair shirt approach to make a big difference. The Government should implement the private members Sustainable and Secure Buildings Act, steered through Parliament by me in 2004, but now lying dormant while ministers faff about.

3 An extra 100mm insulation in the loft this summer, and a state of the art condensing boiler installed in place of the old banger we had. Strongly promoting a campaign on '10 steps you can take to cut your bills and save the planet' ­ targeted at the many local households who have yet to realise that their home emits twice as much carbon each year as their car.

Desmond Swayne

New Forest West, Conservative

1 The most important issue: it must inform all our policies.

2 We can only influence the international debate and solution if we are clearly demonstrating the willingness and ability to address our own emissions

3 I have halved my mileage by car and rarely fly. Installed low energy light bulbs and turn all appliances off.

Jo Swinson

East Dunbartonshire, LibDem

1 It's hugely important. Increasingly scientists, politicians and economists are agreeing it is the biggest threat to our society.

2 Britain can do its bit to reduce carbon emissions and encourage a change in our lifestyles to become more sustainable. We really ought to do more than just our bit though; as a developed nation more of the carbon already in the atmosphere is ours so we have a greater responsibility to clean up our act. We should also be providing a lead internationally to show other countries how carbon reductions and more environmentally-sustainable behaviour can be achieved. At government level the taxation and subsidy incentives need to be in place to encourage more sustainable lifestyles, as well as investment in new technologies that will help us solve this problem, such as greater energy efficiency and renewable energy.

3 I have held environmental surgeries, and use my local leaflets and website to promote ways to make a switch to greener behaviour. There's the little things that are easy once you get into the habit ­ reusing both sides of office paper before recycling it, putting in energy saving lightbulbs at home, remembering to turn my heating off completely when I leave for London. My electricity in both my constituency home and London flat comes from renewable energy through www.good-energy.co.uk, although I have not yet been able to switch my office supplier as it is an office building shared with others. I offset all my carbon emissions for last year, and plan to do this regularly. Even though this includes all of my travel, I still want to reduce the number of flights I take between my constituency and Westminster by taking the sleeper train more often. I will continue to raise this issue in Parliament and joined thousands of others marching on the Stop Climate Chaos march.

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