THE MPs' RESPONSES
South Pembrokeshire & Carmarthen West, Labour
1: Climate change is the most important challenge the world is facing.
2: Britain needs to set an example to other developed nations and to developing nations in setting targets to meet the goal of a 60% reduction in CO? emissions by 2050 compared with 1990, as well as establishing a worldwide carbon emissions trading scheme.
3: At home I have switched to energy saving light bulbs and energy efficient electrical equipment and do not leave appliances on stand-by. I use the trains more than my car for longer journeys and have also offset my summer holiday flight. I have two composting bins in my garden for waste food, recycle newspapers and have installed a water butt to collect rain water for use in the garden. As a Minister, I have switched to an electric hybrid car and am leading the drive for energy efficiency and the offsetting of carbon emissions from the Wales Office.
East Surrey, Conservative, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment
1: It is the greatest challenge facing our generation.
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.
3: I have committed to cutting personal carbon emissions by 25% over 5 years; reducing car use, 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.
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey, LibDem
1: There is no more important concern on a global level. Environmental damage impacts on us down to a local and personal level, and we're at an important juncture at which urgent action is now crucial.
2: I fully support the Lib Dem proposals for green taxes and committing to the Kyoto protocol. We've put forward climate change as one of our biggest policy concerns. Britain can make a huge difference in leading some of the biggest offenders such as the US and China towards significant reform, but the government needs to shake off its complacency and put forward some detailed and committed proposals, as does Mr Cameron. Our green tax policy is well developed and would prove effective in changing behaviour.
3: My constituency includes the Cairngorms national park, which is worried about its skiing industry suffering from the effects of climate change, this would directly impact on the tourist trade in the town of Aviemore, where I live, in terms of employment etc. So it is a constituency more likely to feel the direct effects than some others over the coming years. I have kitted out my new house with energy saving lightbulbs (luckily it's a new house so has double glazing, etc) and just swapped to a more fuel efficient car, which is important as I drive a lot.
In Parliament, I am also in contact with a business in my constituency which manufactures energy saving roof implants for factories and warehouses, and have met with the owners and a Treasury minister to discuss fiscal incentives for the building industry to introduce energy saving measures. There is more on the way climate change is more of an constant concern which we feel our MPs largely hold dear, and have for years, rather than something (like the Tories for example) to be suddenly embraced when it's good for publicity!
Nottingham North, Labour
1: Environmental issues have often been discussed with an eye to some imagined future- yet it is becoming clear to everyone that climate change is an issue for today. As a father myself, I believe we have a duty to future generations to act now to halt the effects of climate change.
The implications of inaction are growing ever more apparent- with large-scale droughts, flooding and other significant changes to weather patterns showing themselves on a global scale. Issues of climate security, with the possibilities of forced migration, failed crops and worsening living conditions in some of the poorest nations, illustrate the social, economic and political implications which link into this environmental concern.
There is indisputable scientific evidence showing that the effects of climate change will be damaging. I think most people would agree that trying to put off dealing with the issue is a dangerous gamble, and risks the stability the globe. It is therefore vital to start looking for and implementing real, workable answers to the problem that can be enacted at international, national and local levels.
2: Although there are no 'quick-fix' solutions to tackling climate change, Britain has the ability to deliver practical schemes, such as emissions trading schemes and development of bio-energy, at a national and local level. I believe that Government has a significant part to play in tackling climate change. Efforts need to be made to convince industry to be even more responsible about its procedures. Attempts must be made to improve our transport systems and make air travel more environmentally friendly, or place more realistic 'green' prices upon flights. Councils need to be encouraged to bring in planning regulations which relate to new builds, and recycling programmes for household waste created and maintained.
We are also in a position to educate and inform our citizens. With the help of Government, local councils, business and NGOs, we can ensure that all individuals in Britain know the facts about climate change, and feel a sense of responsibility to help in attempts to confront the problem.
With its EU and UN links, Britain is also able to discuss the problems of and solutions to climate change on an international as well as a national level. For example we are able to lobby countries such as Brazil, Papua New Guinea, and Costa Rica on the issue of deforestation and help them develop plans for sustainable forestry. Through our own national strategies and our international links, Britain has the potential to be a world leader in tackling climate change.
3: Over the last couple of years I've been involved in a campaign to turn a local disused brown field site in my constituency Hoe Wood, Bulwell into a forested area. The campaign has linked local residents, schools, tenants and residents associations, Nottingham City and Council councils, and local regeneration agencies. Even though it has been a slow process (due to soil tests in the area because of possible contamination), this project has really engaged local people and demonstrates just how willing local communities are to get involved with environmental issues.
As an individual I make sure I set an example by taking small steps to help the environment. I recycle at home and in work (although after diligently doing so for months in the House of Parliament was very troubled when my researcher informed me that they had just witnessed one of the cleaners throwing the paper waste in with all the other rubbish!), and I take the train to my constituency rather than drive to my constituency in Nottingham. I also drive my family mad by following them around the house and switching lights off behind them. These may seem like inconsequential acts, but I really do believe that if everyone did these things that we could make a major impact.
Southend West, Conservative
1: Climate Change should be one of the most dominant issues in contemporary political debate since it poses the greatest environmental, social and economic threats to our generation and the next.
2: In Britain, both the government and the people can make important positive steps to combat the tragic implications of global warming. It's unjustified to say that there is no point in trying since I make little difference. By recycling more materials, by using energy-saving light bulbs, by reducing car use for short trips; these are crucial contributions to the collective effort to cut carbon emissions. If all of us chip in, the net result would be gigantic. The Government too can lead the way among the world's nations in promoting and implementing effective strategy to cut carbon emissions. A Climate Change Bill would be a positive step. The Conservative party wants Government to convert to renewable energy sources and use its enormous buying power to foster non-polluting technologies. By taking the necessary long-term steps to become a low carbon economy, the UK would have the moral authority to influence global actors into subscribing to an international effort to combat climate change.
3: As part of Energy Saving Week, I have encouraged constituents in Southend West to follow the advice of the Energy Saving Trust and undertake measures to cut their domestic energy usage by 20%. I believe that people should aim to adopt measures that will combat the effects of global warming, including switching off electrical appliances when not in use, converting to a renewable electricity supplier, recycling and composting waste, as well as washing laundry at 30ºC and turning down their thermostat by 1ºC. I am ambitious to make Southend West an environmentally considerate constituency.
1: Climate Change is the greatest challenge facing us all. We have no choice other than to wake up and address the problem, even if it may already be too late.
2: We need to ignore all those who say that one country cannot make a difference. Look at incremental changes we can make for example delaying street lighting times, encourage all businesses and public bodies to turn down their heating by 1 degree C. Expand and resource sustainable energy developments. Re-invigorate UK coal industry using clean coal technology. Promote geothermal developments.
3: I sent all households a ten point plan of simple steps to reduce Climate Change along side the Energy Saving Trust. I have agreed to Chair the Public Utilities Reform Group. I have supported positive EDM and supported the Governments overall programme.
North East Hampshire, Conservative
1: Climate Change is one of the biggest issues for my constituents in North East Hampshire. My own opinion is that it is more important than any other challenge we face (and that is saying a lot with nuclear proliferation, international terrorism, pension meltdown and other worries being very strong candidates). I accept and diffidently agree with the Chief Scientist's view.
2: Only with a truly global approach can we make a real difference. It is important, therefore, that Britain takes a strong lead in tackling Climate Change.
We should start by cutting our own emissions and a Climate Change Bill would certainly help achieve this aim. However, we really need long-term policies to create a framework for a shift to a low carbon economy and I am pleased to see more and more people engaging in this debate. But there are many issues for us to consider. How do we cut our own energy use? How do we convert to renewable energy sources, and harness non-polluting technologies? I don't think we yet have all the answers but we have to succeed. I would make it more attractive and convenient for everybody to install solar panels, small wind turbines and insulation in their own properties.
3: I am a keen cyclist and do what I can to reduce my car use in London I go everywhere by bike but inevitably with a widely spaced constituency there are times when I need to travel by car. At home we recycle; compost; have installed energy efficient light bulbs, and heating. But there is always more we could do and it is in my own and everyone's interests that we all do it.
Staffordshire Moorlands, Labour
1: Climate change has to be a global as well as a top UK priority.
2: Britain has to lead the way in Europe and internationally on this issue: eg by bringing aviation into the emissions trading scheme and by introducing a tough Climate Change Bill in the Queen's Speech. The Govt has to get us all more committed to taking individual responsibility for climate change otherwise the difficult choices to be made on eg green taxes will be condemned as unworkable or unaffordable. We have much more to do on renewable energy where the UK lags badly behind.
3: On a personal level I am campaigning to bring back a moth- balled railway line back into use taking heavy lorries off the road. I recycle, promote cycling and canals while trying to follow best practice in terms of saving energy wherever I can.
1: Climate change is an important issue, not only for the future of the planet but to the wellbeing of its population. Climate change is having an increasingly important impact on the economy of many developing nations.
2: Britain can take a lead by reducing our own emissions and setting an example to others. We can introduce a Climate Change Bill to set real targets for the reduction in greenhouse gases.
3: My constituency is a large rural one and agriculture still plays an important role in the economy and in the shape of the landscape. Making consumers aware of the high quality local produce is something that I have been campaigning for. Not only does it help sustainable farming, but it reduces the impact of food miles. As for myself, my family is doing what it can to save energy in a number of ways.
Dudley North, Labour
1: As I am sure all of your readers have noted, this summer has been one of the hottest ever. Each of the last five years has been one of the ten hottest on record. I know that my constituents are concerned about climate change. They know the issue is now science fact, not science fiction.
As we have seen over the past years, the scientific evidence for climate change, caused largely by the build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, continues to strengthen. The evidence in front of our eyes also suggests that the impact of the theory is real. According to government statistics, 70% of the global carbon emissions that cause climate change come from the way we consume energy. Without urgent action, there will be a damaging rise in temperature.
2: I will be urging the Government to do all it can to reduce carbon emissions by continuing to deliver on the Kyoto agreement. Thanks to measures like the climate change levy, the UK should achieve twice the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions required under Kyoto. Carbon emissions will fall by 712 million tonnes by 2010. I think everyone will agree that we need to do more, but I am confident that we are making progress.
But this isn't just an issue for Government- it's something we can all make a difference on. If each of us used just a little less energy it would make a real impact on our carbon emissions.
For instance, the average household is directly responsible for about 10 Tonnes of carbon per year. The energy we as individuals consume in electricity, gas and transport- makes up almost half (44 per cent) of total emissions. Our decisions have a major impact on the Environment.
3: I have followed the progress of this debate carefully and have regularly spoken to constituents who share our concerns. I have pledged in my constituency of Dudley North to follow the simple steps set out by The Energy Saving Trust to do my part to help cut down on our personal carbon emissions and save energy. I have encouraged my own friends and family to save energy and I have also written to constituents asking them to consider the steps too.
During the summer, I was delighted to have been invited by staff and pupils at a local Primary School in Dudley to the opening of their new wind-turbine. It was a very exciting and innovative event and I am pleased that local kids in Dudley are leading the way in the campaign to stop climate change. This new wind turbine offers the local children of Dudley a real opportunity to learn about science and our responsibility to look after our environment.
During the summer I also visited the 'Eco-Pod' Centre in a neighbouring constituency which boasts an environmentally friendly house and demonstrates a range of alternative technologies aimed at delivering new and cost-efficient energy to local residents.
I think we all have a duty to make the simple, small steps from turning our TV off rather than leaving it on standby to turning our heating down a couple of degrees. All of these small steps can make a big difference.
Of course, these measures won't stop global warming by themselves; there are bigger steps that need to be taken like more people using hybrid cars, installing solar panels, wind turbines and having cavity wall insulation. These things take time and money which is why I have been urging the government to help us make these steps in a practical and affordable manner.
Lewes, Lib Dem; Chair, All-Party Environment Group
1: Climate change is a threat greater than any other faced by mankind and is therefore the most important political issue of our time. This means that we need to take urgent action on both the domestic and international stages. Climate change is a reality today, and is already having a huge impact on natural systems across the world, with ice-caps in retreat, coral reef bleaching, the extinction of numerous species, and increased frequency of extreme weather events. In the future, if insufficient action is taken, we face the prospect of catastrophic flooding in some countries alongside ruinous drought and famine in others. This will mean not only terrible human suffering, but economic disaster as well. I very much welcome the recent Stern Review, which may at last make those who somehow believe that the economy and environment are separate matters realize that, rather they are inextricably linked.
If we want to stop the worst impacts of climate change, I believe it is vitally important that the average global temperature increases stay below 2°C from pre-industrial levels. Unfortunately, however, we are already much of the way there. Avoiding rises in temperature beyond 2ºC will therefore require dramatic and urgent reductions in emissions of greenhouses gases by all industrialised countries.
2: Firstly, Britain needs to lead by example by putting its own house in order. The government has already admitted that the UK is going to miss the target of a 20% reduction in carbon emissions by 2010 and figures show that emissions of CO2 have actually been rising year on year. This is quite simply unacceptable.
We therefore need radical and innovative measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, backed up by a timetable of annual, binding targets. We need to make significant changes to the tax system to incorporate green taxes and market mechanisms that discourage environmentally unfriendly behaviour and, in turn, reward sustainable lifestyle choices. In particular we need to make significant progress on reducing emissions from aviation and make far-reaching changes to our energy policy to reduce demand, increase efficiency and develop the use of a wide variety of renewable energy sources.
On the international stage, Britain should use its so-called 'special relationship' with the US to push for action from the world's biggest polluter, and more generally use our international status to promote a new, enforceable international agreement to reduce emissions to a sustainable level based on the so-called principles of contraction and convergence.
3: As I have become more aware of the dangers of climate change, my family and I have made a large number of changes to our lifestyle and consumption patterns over the years in order to reduce our carbon footprint.
At home, we try to recycle as much as possible, and any kitchen or garden waste gets put in our compost bin. We make an effort to shop for food which is locally sourced and in season, thereby cutting food miles to a minimum, and I try to avoid food and other products with excess packaging. We are changing all my lights to energy saving bulbs as they expire, and we also make energy efficiency an important consideration when we buy any new domestic appliances. We have sourced our electricity from a green supplier.
My role as an MP inevitably involves a lot of travelling, but we are now managing with just one car which we try to use a little as possible. Instead, I make the most of public transport always travelling by train between my constituency in Lewes and London and also increasingly around my constituency. If I have to travel within Europe, I can nearly always use the train rather than the plane, but when air travel is inevitable, I offset my carbon emissions.
Over the years, both as the former Lib Dem Shadow Environment Secretary and current chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Environment group, I have made climate change my top priority, trying to raise awareness among fellow parliamentarians, constituents and members of the public. If all of us make small changes to our habits and lifestyles, then the cumulative effect will actually have a significant impact on our greenhouse gas emissions. We can all do something to help tackle climate change.
1: Climate change isn't something that is going to happen it has begun already. The irreversible changes are occurring in our climate as concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere rise. Tackling this problem will require action on an unprecedented scale. It also needs to be remembered that the consequences of Climate Change hit the poorest hardest. Developing countries are particularly vulnerable and lack the capacity and resources to adapt. Poor people are particularly vulnerable to climate change.
In 2010, the International Development Select Committee, which I chaired, produced a report "Global Climate Change and Sustainable Development". Developing countries see climate change not as a problem of pollution or how to sustain economic growth, but as a problem of human welfare that threatens survival itself.
The impacts of climate change will not be evenly spread across the globe, and are likely to fall disproportionately on the poor.
Climate change has the potential to increase further the inequality between developed and developing countries.
Rising temperatures and changes in precipitation will place hundreds of millions of people additionally at risk from either hunger, water shortage, coastal flooding, or malaria.
Developing countries have limited financial, human, technological, institutional or national resources, making them less able to respond to the effects of climate change.
2: I think Britain can help by giving a lead in terms of an action which demonstrates an appreciation of how urgent it is to tackle climate change. The difficulty with targets that commit countries to reduce CO? and other gas emissions by a certain amount by a certain time, is that by the time the target date is reached and the target is missed, substantially more damage has been done, which it is why it is to be hoped that the government will be willing to introduce a Climate Change Bill that would clearly set annual targets for CO? and other noxious gas emissions.
I think the Government has to recognise that it can affect the behaviour of citizens by a mixture of fiscal and other measures, both carrot and stick, although experience I think demonstrates that carrot is more effective.
3: I am not sure in the face of experience that constituents, or people, necessarily respond to exhortation by Members of Parliament as to how they should lead their lives. Clearly, I think we all need to recognise that the heart of UK's carbon dioxide emissions come from the energy that everyone uses every day at work and when we travel and so all of us by comparatively simple actions can reduce CO? emissions.
So, for example, I personally have fitted a condensing boiler; I try and ensure the thermostat is set at a sensible level; that there is decent loft insulation, although because of the age of my house, it is not possible to have wall insulation, or double-glazing.
Bexhill & Battle, Conservative
1: Climate change is the most important challenge that humankind will face this century. Unless we act seriously and with urgency we will be failing in our duty to future generations.
2: Britain can make a difference not just be putting the issue on the international agenda but also by demonstrating success at home. Sadly, CO2 emissions have risen since 1997 and were back up again in the first half of 2006. there are a whole range of measures which the Government must take to promote renewable energy, sustainable housing, and promote low fossil fuel travel. This will necessarily involve a switch to more green taxation and the Conservatives will reverse the trend away from taxing environmental "bads" seen under Labour.
3: As an individual, I know that there is still more that I can do to reduce my own carbon footprint but within the last twelve months I have swapped my car for an electric hybrid; installed low electricity light bulbs at home; installed solar panels on my roof to heat my domestic hot water and switched my electricity to a sustainable energy provider through npower Juice. Furthermore, we grow vegetables to cut down on carbon emitting food miles a d have made a concerted effort to turn off electric appliances over night. We recycle; reuse; compost and now have a wormery. There is much more I would like to do though and I would very much like to replace our old oil-fired central heating with a ground source heat pump.
Politicians certainly aren't paragons of virtue when it comes to leading the way in taking these measures, but certainly if I can do these things they will be easy steps for others to take too!
1: Very important. By not cutting our emissions, we are peering into the unknown and playing with fire as to the future of our planet. Flooding is increasingly an issue in the UK the Thames Barrier has been raised at an increasing rate as time has passed. We also have a responsibility to the developing world on this issue.
2: Lead by example by cutting our own emissions a Climate Change Bill will help this. We can also help to raise the attention this subject receives on the world stage.
3: Help raise people's awareness of this issue and cut down on our own emissions by installing more efficient double glazing, using energy efficient light bulbs, switching off the lights when not in use, recycling and reducing car and plane use.
Edinburgh West, LibDem
1: It is the most important long term issue we need to tackle.
2: Britain can reduce its emissions by a combination of energy saving and increasing the development of renewable sources of electricity. Leading by example at national and local level as well as participating in international negotiations to produce agreements with a global impact. Britain should use its "special relationship" with the USA to highlight their responsibility on this issue.
3: I have changed my car to a more fuel efficient model, using one third less fuel. Decided not to fly abroad on holiday this year (had a holiday in England instead). Convinced my landlord to change the heating system in my constituency office to reduce its energy use by approximately 40%. Increased recycling in the office and at home. Plan to provide energy saving advice to constituents.
City of York, Labour
1: Climate Change is an issue of enormous importance. The UK was right to make it one of the key issues at last year's G8.
2: We must meet our Kyoto commitment and our own national emissions targets. We can't expect others to change if we fail to reduce our emissions.
3: As an individual I cycle in London and York. I helped draft the International Development Committee's report on Climate Change which went to the Rio +1: 0 summit in Johannesburg and prompted changes in UK government policy.
But have I done enough? No.
1: Climate change is one of the three most important global issues now facing us.
2: Britain has a key role to play both in reducing its own contribution to climate change and in taking a lead in international efforts to secure commitment to environment-friendly policies.
3: My personal commitments, already carried out, include: changing home heating to a condensing boiler and reducing temperature; additional home insulation and greater use of low-energy light bulbs; waste recycling, including composting; refusing unnecessary packaging; minimising car use, making almost all long distance journeys, and many short journeys by train, and using a more fuel-efficient car; considering domestic micro-power installation.
1: Climate Change is the defining issue of our age. Previous generations had to deal with the rise of Nazism or communism. This is the issue on which my generation of politicians will be judged. This is our Dunkirk.
2: Clearly set out accountable targets for reduction in carbon emissions. A better acceptance of market mechanisms as a means of tackling climate change. So much relies on the attitude or actions of the United States Government. The British Government must challenge the Bush administration and it's successor on this vital issue.
3: I am getting a grip on my own carbon footprint. I have sponsored a showing of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" for all Councillors, local politicians, business leaders, church leaders, voluntary sector leaders and schools in my constituency. I have encouraged my local council with it's "Cleaner Greener West Berkshire" campaign.
1: Climate change is one of the most important challenges facing the world today. It is vital that, in conjunction with out international partners, we take concrete steps to address climate change. The publication of the Stern Report has highlighted the fact that climate change is not simply an environmental issue, it will have social and economic ramifications. Given my interest in international development, I am particularly concerned about the impact of climate change upon development. I was dismayed to learn that climate change is likely to hit hardest those who have least and will undermine progress towards development.
2: Of course, we need concerted international action to deal with climate change. It is a global phenomenon and its effects will not recognise national borders. However, there is a great deal that Britain can by herself. First, we must start by cutting out own emissions. I believe that we need a Climate Change Bill to assist with this. Moreover, the Government must lead by example. Sadly, under Labour, carbon emissions have risen. The Government must cut its own energy use and reduce its carbon footprint. It must also put more effort into developing renewable energy sources, and using its enormous buying power to foster non-polluting technologies. Furthermore, we need long-term policies to create a framework for a shift to a low carbon economy.
Secondly, Britain should work internationally to promote a global framework for tackling climate change. We should use our position as an honest friend to the United States to persuade them to come on board with a successor treaty to Kyoto. I realise that achieving a fair and robust system will be difficult but it is a challenge we must face.
3: I am currently looking into what steps I can take to make my office more climate neutral. At present, we recycle wherever possible, in particular paper and toner cartridges. Personally, I have resolved to reduce my car use where possible, to use low-energy light bulbs and to switch off electrical appliances when not in use.
Sheffield, Attercliffe, Labour
1: It is the most important long term issue facing us.
2: The Government should act domestically , including educating individuals to change there life styles, and take the lead internationally.
3: I have argued for bus regulation and congestion charging to encourage a switch to public transport, and am pressing for a range of measures to improve energy efficiency of homes.
Northampton South, Conservative
1: I understand that climate change is an extremely important issue and indeed, one of the biggest challenges that we and future generations will face. I am pleased that such an issue is now receiving so much focus because it is down to everyone, government, businesses and the public alike to make a difference and change the way we live.
2: I think every country can make a difference because I believe every little helps. We must move away from the 'I'm okay' opinion and develop long term policies to create a framework for a shift to a low carbon economy. Britain must continue to lead on this issue and hopefully other countries will follow. At present, it is unfortunate to say that under the present government carbon emissions have risen rather than fallen.
3: As an individual, I have taken to switching off electrical appliances when not in use, recycling and I will continue to find ways of reducing carbon emissions and promote these ideals within my constituency.
City of Durham, Labour
1: It is an extremely important issue at a local, national and international level and it must continue to be a priority in policy terms.
2: Britain can make a difference it can do what it is doing already in terms of setting exacting targets for itself in terms of reducing carbon emissions and in trying to secure international and European directives on measures designed to tackle climate change. Britain could do more to tackle carbon emissions as they relate to aviation. More also needs to be done to discourage motorists from using gas guzzling cars. The public need to be made more aware of what they can do as individuals to reduce their own energy emissions and carbon footprint. Britain needs to support the dissemination of scientific information about climate change so the public is more aware of the evidence that is now available. It should also vigorously encourage the development of renewable energy sources.
3: I have signed up to the challenge to reduce my carbon emissions by 25%. I have also communicated this to all my constituents and I have asked them to do the same and sign up for this challenge. I continue to press the local council to make the building of low energy use buildings a priority. I speak in parliamentary debates on this subject where possible. I have ongoing sharing of information between my office and my constituents about energy supplies, energy use the energy review, climate change and global warming. I am a member of the All Parliamentary Climate Change Group.
Labour, Sedgefield; Prime Minister
1: I've said many times that I believe climate change is the most serious long-term threat facing our planet. It's why I've devoted so much time in meetings at summits with international colleagues to raising this.
2: Britain is playing a big part at the moment we're on course to reduce our emissions by more than double what we promised to in the Kyoto Protocol, and no other country comes near to that achievement. But we need to do much more, to carry on showing leadership, and win over countries like America, China and India to the idea that tackling climate change now will save us all money and natural resources in the future.
3: Personally, I have already turned down the Downing St thermostat by 1 degree, and tried to make sure the place is as green as possible by installing low-energy lightbulbs for example. Of course there's always more that every one of us can do that includes businesses as well as individals. But I really believe there is now a will to address this problem, right round the world, and that by working together, governments and individuals will crack it.
Salford, Labour; Labour Party Chair
1: Climate change is of huge importance. I am extremely conscious that the scientific evidence for climate change, caused largely by the build up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, continues to strengthen. The evidence in front of our eyes says the impact of the theory is real.
We each need to act. This isn't just an issue for Government its something we can all make a difference on. If each of us used just a little less energy it would make a real impact on our carbon emissions.For instance, the average household is directly responsible for about 10 tonnes of carbon per year. The energy we as individuals consume in electricity, gas and transport makes up almost half (44%) of total emissions. Our decisions have a major impact on the environment.
We can take simple steps. From turning the TV off rather than leaving it on standby to turning the heating down a couple of degrees make a difference, which if we all make the change will be significant. I have followed where possible the Energy Saving Trust's 1: 0 Simple Steps in my own home and in my office and I have promoted these energy saving measures in my constituency.
1: Climate change is on of the greatest challenges facing our generation. It is not just an environmental issue, but a social and economic one. I have taken an interest in this issue for some time, especially when I was the Shadow Energy Minister. At the time I wrote an energy policy which included emissions trading, and I note that the Stern Review believes the scheme should be expanded. The policy can be found on my website in the " Articles Section".
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 resources, 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 out 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: Yes I have a diesel engine car to reduce fuel consumption, and our family has only one car. I use energy efficient light bulbs and I purchase "A" grade domestic appliances. I am examining the possibility of a water-powered generator at my constituency home (an old water mill) and am eagerly awaiting successful development of a micro CHP to replace my domestic boiler. In policy terms, I have promoted a massive extension of emission trading to the domestic transport sector as well as industry.
I believe we can all do something to help. Probably the most important decision I have taken is to go for a 1.2ltr car. Daventry which I represent has one of the best recycling records in the country and pro-active Councils and environmental businesses. I encourage and celebrate this wherever practicable.
Worthing West, Conservative
1: Most people can survie most climate changes but some will not.
2: Britain can help to make possible the things that are right politics should be the art or practice of doing that.
3: My task is to represent my constituents' interests I am not seen as local head boy or head teacher. One personal contribution is walking to work at Westminster and in Worthing; biking (and diving).
1: Climate change is the most serious threat to human kind ever
2: Britain has to take a lead by setting an example nationally and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with our ambitious targets and we need to work internationally to achieve similar reductions. What we do at home is important but is only 2% to 3% of global emissions. This is a global threat that needs global solutions.
3: Personally I have committed to carbon neutrality. That means whatever emissions left after reductions I have made through lifestyle changes I am offsetting through independently audited offset schemes.
Altrincham & Sale West, Conservative
I take this issue very seriously and my personal commitments include recycling, walking to work every day and taking the stairs instead of using the lift. In my constituency, I have been a strong supporter of a campaign to source foods locally, supporting an initiative to use produce from within a radius of a few miles. If this model were adopted elsewhere it would have a significant environmental benefit.
Carshalton and Wallington, LibDem
1: I agree with Sir David King, the Government's Scientific Advisor, Climate Change is the number one global concern.
2: Britain needs to take the lead by reducing carbon emissions by an average of 3% per annum.
3: Personally I am committed to reducing my emissions by 2: 0% and will do so by a range of measures including purchasing a more economical car, improving insulation in our home, buying low energy light bulbs, taking the train rather than flying on holiday.
1: It is the most important long term issue facing us.
2: The Government should act domestically, including educating individuals to change there life styles, and take the lead internationally,
3: I have argued for bus regulation and congestion charging to encourage a switch to public transport, and am pressing for a range of measures to improve energy efficiency of homes.
Cardiff West, Labour
1: It is a very important concern, and one we should take a lead on internationally.
2: Legislate domestically to reduce our emissions and taske the lead in brokering international agreement.
3: Buy my food from local organic supplier and market
1: Climate change is one of the defining issues of our day. The potential impacts are so wide ranging that inaction is not an option.
2: The best thing that Britain can do is to lead by example and show others what can be achieved through the implementation of policies to promote environmental sustainability. Binding commitments on Government would help to set the standard and that is why a Climate Change Bill is so important. Without this approach it is difficult to see how we can expect other nations to change.
3: I have taken steps to reduce my household's contribution to CO? emissions by switching to energy efficient light bulbs, not leaving electrical equipment on stand-by, recycling household waste and other similar actions. I am investigating further steps to reduce personal carbon output. I also support local initiatives and group's promoting greater environmental sustainability.
Mid Dorset & North Poole, Lib Dem
1: It is the biggest single challenge facing us and action must be taken now.
2: I have been deeply concerned that politicians have been ducking the issues of giving leadership and introducing policies to change behaviour this is a situation where it is vital to put forward polices which aren't obvious vote winners, if we have any conscience about the inheritance of future generations. It is not acceptable to say there is no point us taking action when there are countries like India and China. We have to give leadership now, we have benfited from our early industrialisation and our own polluting practices, now we have to convince other countries that global action is vital by our own actions. A Climate Change Bill for the next parliamentary session would be a start.
Liberal Democrats have already put forward their green tax proposals,detailed proposal that can be scrutinised and not just fine words. Locally, we are currently distributing a leaflet promoting green paractice (sorry about the paper), we are building up our Email contact list for communication but this is mainly to our members and helpers.
3: In my constituency office, we are ruthless recyclers, we use both sides of nearly every piece of paper before it is scrapped and then we pay extra to have an enormous recyling bin from the Council, and we have a Mission to have a green building, with notices everywhere. Our confidential papers are shredded and then passed on to a family who keeps guinea pigs! At home I have the obvious insulation, double glazing etc and am planning to have a micro wind generator when I have some work done to the roof of my house and when it no longer needs planning permission. We have recently purchased new kitchen appliances, and paid more to make sure they were energy efficient.
Dumfries and Galloway, Labour
1: Climate change is a severe threat to the environment, human life, and the global economy. In tackling this issue, action is needed now both here in the UK and internationally. The time for gesture politics and PR stunts is over and we have to be serious in our efforts.
2: We need to be much more energy efficient but at the same time recognise that the Climate Change Levy was a positive step forward. The introduction of the Energy Efficiency Commitment has seen investment through energy suppliers in energy efficiency measures. We need to work with other international partners to develop strategies such as Carbon Capture and Storage and clean coal technology, and further investment into research and development of energy technology will be required.
3: During the Energy Review, I held public consultation meetings to engage my constituents. I am considering the possibility of a Climate Change seminar with secondary school pupils early in 2: 007. As an individual, I have replaced all light bulbs in my home, wherever possible, with energy efficient bulbs and I am awaiting a visit to my home from a company that will give me advice on the possibility of a small wind turbine being erected in my garden
1: Very important (which is why the Liberal Democrats have been taking it so seriously for many decades now).
2: Adopt limits and targets for carbon emissions; increase recycling; switch the emphasis of taxation away from work and towards pollution; use the moral authority derived from showing leadership to push other nations to reduce their emissions.
3: The normal things: I recycle; I went on holiday in Britain this summer (although I am not promising never to go abroad again); I live within walking distance of the centre of the town; I nearly always travel to London by train rather than by car; I turn off lights when I leave the room; I turn the heating down to a very low level when I am away.
Chair, International Development Select Committee
1: As the Vice-Chair of Globe UK and Vice-President of Globe International, I am very aware of the huge impact Climate Change is already having on the planet. I'm proud that Globe is working hard to promote international dialogue through their G8+5 Climate Change Dialogue.
2: Britain can make a difference in tackling Climate Change, firstly by meeting the targets that it has set itself on emissions, thereby setting a good example to other nations and so encouraging them to do likewise. The Government should also do all it can to promote renewables both within Britain and beyond and it can continue to invest in new technologies.
3: Climate Change awareness is vital at a local level too. In my constituency I have joined with the Liberal Democrat leadership in Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and in the Scottish Executive to promote sustainable technologies and I have supported new projects in the constituency from wind farms to biofuel projects."
1: Climate Change is an ethical and political challenge that we have to meet if we want to pass on a world that is worth living in to future generations, but it is also vital that we tackle the problem urgently if we are to protect not just the environment but the long-term viability of our economy.
2: Britain cannot go it alone. We have to work with our European neighbours and with the wider world community to win the argument in favour of sustainable economic growth that protects the environment and delivers greater equality around the globe. We must also provide real financial and other incentives for individuals and businesses to tackle energy waste and to prevent unnecessary harmful emissions. We should encourage more people to think twice about getting in the car. We should tackle the 'stand-by' culture that uses electricity in many appliances just to keep them on stand-by.
3: I have become much more assiduous in switching off stand-by appliances and have tried (so far without success) to have a wind turbine fitted to my home. I travel between Westminster and my constituency by train.
Regent's Park & Kensington North, Labour
1: Climate change is probably the greatest challenge facing the human race. If we fail to raise to the challenge in the next twenty years, the implications for our children and grandchildren will be too appalling to contemplate.
2: Britain and other leading developed countries must lead the way. We are the fourth largest economy in the world, so we have both the opportunities and the responsibility. The opportunity lies in the scope for developing technological responses to global warming, We also have the responsibility to change our behaviour, to conserve energy and reduce emissions.
3: I don't drive, and travel mostly by public transport. Our family car has been converted to LPG and we recycle as much as possible, As an MP, I see my main task in raising awareness and promoting debate- I am about to launch a major consultation on the Climate Change Bill, directed at constituents and at school.
Birmingham Northfield, Labour; Chair, All Party Motor Group
1: Climate change is of enormous concern, and whilst only recently are we beginning to feel and see the effects that it is having on the planet, we can be sure that if we do not act now the consequences will be catastrophic. The Stern Review has given pause for thought even to the most sceptical about climate change. The greatest impact of the results of developing and developed countries' dependence on burning fossil fuels will be felt by the poorest people who have benefited the least from the energy these fuels have produced.
2: Britain has the opportunity to lead the way in making changes to the way energy is produced and tackling the causes of climate change. There are many ways in which emissions can be reduced, but action needs to be taken by all countries, especially those who pollute the most. The establishment of post-Kyoto targets could facilitate this. Setting in place incentives for industry to make changes can go hand in hand with a more rigorous pricing and tax system which fairly reflects the amount of carbon produced. Everyone in Britain can also individually contribute to reducing carbon. We can make sure that we recycle more and use energy efficient appliances and light bulbs and support sustainable forestry. Not using the standby button on devices can save an enormous amount of energy it doesn't take a lot of effort to make a difference. We also need to think about how we travel. The fact that it may not always be practical to travel by train or bicycle is not an excuse to avoid reducing our dependency on motor vehicles for short journeys and planes for longer ones.
3: In Parliament, I chair the All Party Motor Group, which is concerned with a number of issues facing the UK automotive industry. In that role, I think it is very important for me to help promote discussion on issues such as the use of alternative fuels including alternatives to fossil fuels in transport policy. Motor Sport may not immediately appear to be an a lly in tackling climate change but if we are going to change attitudes and promote environmental awareness we would be wrong to either ignore or write off the huge audience of spectators and participants that motor sport reaches. So I have helped promote the Energy Efficient Motorsport project which encourages the use of things like bio fuels in motor racing and encourages the world of motor sport to support the environmental agenda in its own activities and the messages it sends out to the public. As MP for the area which includes Longbridge, I am pressing for the redevelopment of the former MG Rover site as a centre to promote the relationship between automotive performance engineering and environmental technologies, and also for there to be a transport interchange constructed, to enable people to use public transport more and leave their cars at home.
Where possible, I use public transport to get between Westminster and constituency, and within London, but I need to get better about that in Birmingham. In addition I am trying to follow my own advice by turning off machines on standby and using low energy bulbs. When I can, I also try to use a local farmers market so saving 'food miles'.
Enfield, Southgate, Conservative
1: Climate change is very important as not only does it have implications on life now, but as we are more and more aware, has massive implications for future generations.
2: A good start would be a Climate Change Bill. This is needed to ensure we reduce our carbon emissions. We also need to be looking at ways of changing our current reliance on renewable energy sources that cause so much damage to the planet. It's really important that as a nation, we lead by example on this issue.
3: My family works hard to ensure we do our bit to alleviate climate change. For several years we have been recycling bottles, paper and tins and composting kitchen waste. We also use energy saving light bulbs and make sure we turn lights and power supplies off at night where possible. Most recently, I have begun cycling around my constituency too. My offices also ensure we recycle as much paper waste as possible.
Sutton & Cheam, LibDem
1: There is no doubt in my mind that climate change is one of the most important concerns of our age. As the Stern report makes clear, the evidence is now overwhelming; something must be done in order to preserve our way of life for future generations. The Liberal Democrat have set out proposals for a range of targeted green taxes that will seek to penalise polluting behaviour while reducing taxes on hard work. It is imperative that we act immediately in order to prevent environmental disasters of the future.
2: ) Simple answer a lot more. Only the Liberal Democrats have spelt out, as part of our "green tax switch", a system that will seek to focus on carbon emitting practices such as the aerospace industry. The UK must lead by example; this is the only way to demonstrate to other countries the true seriousness of climate change and our moral obligation to preserve the environment.
3: ) Prior to my election to Parliament I served as a councillor on the London Borough of Sutton. I was responsible for the Council becoming the first local authority in the country to adopt and implement an Environmental Statement. Over the years the council has pioneered recycling, zero and low energy transport, and has been accredited and reaccredited under the EU Environmental Management and Audit Scheme.
One of the things I am most proud of is being involved with the Beddington Zero Energy Development (or BedZED) which illustrates the achievability of carbon neutral technology. Sutton council will also be the first in London to pioneer new initiatives to cut congestion and promote more sustainable travel together with Transport for London and local stakeholders.
Speaking personally, for transport I avoid cars preferring the train or my own two feet. My family and I have also recycled for many years, try to cut home energy usage and avoid air travel for holidays.
Bedfordshire North East, Conservative
2: We need a climate change bill which will incorporate further carbon reductions. A better balanced energy policy with more emphasis on all renewables not just land based wind power will help.
3: We are looking at ways to reduce wasted energy consumption, taking a carbon audit, and will take a hybrid car when we next change.
1: The Liberal Democrats agree that Climate Change is, as the Government's Chief Scientist Sir David King, has said, the greatest threat to mankind. That is why I and my Liberal Democrat colleagues support a Climate Change Bill which would set binding, independently monitored, annual targets for reducing emissions.
However, setting targets is not enough and there need to be clear policy measures to achieve these reductions. That is why the Lib Dems are promoting the "green tax switch" to make the polluter pay by increasing green taxes on new high emission vehicles and aircraft, whilst reducing income taxes elsewhere.
This is the first major step in a comprehensive plan to cut carbon emissions across the economy currently being worked on by the largest policy commission ever set up by the Lib Dems and which will report to next year's autumn conference.
2: Britain may contribute only 2% of global emissions, but we need to establish our good faith by practising what we preach and taking a decisive lead in two ways.
First, by cutting our emissions we will be meeting what is surely a moral international obligation and show other countries the way forward, as well as bringing economic benefits that will acrue from being at the forefront of new green technologies. We must focus on energy conservation and pursue renewable energy options, relieving our dependency on fossil fuels. I and my Liberal Democrat colleagues have been pushing hard for low-carbon development to be a key strand of the Government's policy. I believe we need funding for both renewable energy facilities in the Third World as well as much improved technology transfer.
Secondly, we must use our position within the world to lead international negotiations to achieve international agreements on cutting emissions. The EU led on Kyoto, and can do so again. Whilst developing countries such as China and India must be significant partners in limiting climate change, 70% of the CO2 in the atmosphere is attributable to human causes produced by the United States and the European Union. It's therefore crucial that we put our own house in order and lead by example and not just lecture others.
3: In my parliamentary work I have worked with my DTI colleagues on our energy policy which promotes investment in green energy without the need for nuclear energy.
I have also promoted electric vehicles such as the G-wiz electric car. My own car is small and energy efficient and I share the car on journeys wherever I can.
I have also campaigned for a Stamp Duty Rebate for householders improving the energy efficiency of their home as the need for urgent action to cut our carbon emissions is greater than ever. The Government has rightly acknowledged that we need to do a lot more to improve the energy efficiency of our homes if we are to meet our climate change target of a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2010.
Personally, I buy all of our electricity from renewable sources and have promoted green energy in at a series of stalls throughout my constituency. I have already pledged to reduce my personal carbon emissions by 25% by the end of 2010 as part of a Parliamentary challenge launched last year. I also recently signed the 'Click for the Climate' pledge and promised to lower my emissions, by for example, turning the thermostat down by 1C, although my husband keeps the thermostat pretty low already!
I make as many journeys as possible by rail instead of car. I almost always commute between Westminster and my constituency by rail now and in my home I have energy efficient light bulbs, double glazing and ensure that I never needlessly waste energy by leaving appliances on stand-by. I ensure that all new appliances I buy are energy efficient.
By making small changes to my life and encouraging others to do the same, combined with better policy from the Government, incorporating much more investment in the development of renewable energy, I think that the UK could meet the Kyoto target and the 20% reduction in emissions by 2010, which is vital if we are to avoid climate chaos.
North Tyneside, Labour
1: It is of major concerns and concerted international action to tackle global warming is essential.
2: Britain must continue to place climate change at the top of the world's political agenda and meet our own obligations under Kyoto.
3: I don't drive and encourage energy efficient buildings in my constituency.
Birmingham, Hodge Hill, Labour
1: Both governments and individuals have a responsibility to the world and to future generations. The Stern report also highlighted the economic damage that climate change is doing and will do. It is a hugely important issue for the fact that it impacts upon the whole global community and needs international action now.
2: Britain's role is twofold and very simple. Firstly, we do our bit collectively and as individuals by acting to amend our own behaviour and change attitudes in this country. Secondly, we can and this government will lead the way internationally in achieving global action that will protect, most of all, the most vulnerable in the world.
3: With a young family, I have a responsibility to ensure my children will grow up behaving responsibly and aware of the impact of their actions on the environment. We took our holiday in Britain this summer and so have not contributed to the carbon emissions of an international flight. In Hodge Hill we are well served by public transport and I have been working hard to clean up our neighbourhoods people do care about their environment and in doing this, we hope it is a first step in changing attitudes to wider environmental issues such as climate change.
1: Vitally important. I wrote much of the report on climate change and sea level rise to Commonwealth Prime Ministers in 1: 988 when there was already a substantial scientific consensus about the problem and it is taking a worryingly long time for the issue to percolate through into serious preventative action.
2: Even though Britain contributes only 2% of global emissions, it is 1% of the world's population. Britain, as the first industrialising country, contributed disproportionately to existing CO? concentrations and therefore has a moral responsibility to take the lead with other rich countries before expecting developing countries to do their share.
3: I am working with my local Lib Dem council (Richmond) on a climate change strategy which includes pioneering the first experiment in linking parking permit charges to emissions. I am promoting the idea locally of carbon neutral schools including we believe the first in the world to become carbon neutral (Hampton). I am a rail rather than car daily commuter. My wife (a farmer) is building (us) a new house wholly dependent for heating on solar panels and under soil geothermal heating.
Witney, Conservative; Leader of the Opposition
1: It's vital. We must make the green agenda central to everything we do and, in that agenda, climate change is the issue which overrides all others. It is the biggest threat facing our planet, and our generation will rightly be judged on our response to it.
2: We potentially have a huge role to play on the world stage putting the case for a proper successor to Kyoto based on clear targets and including all the major carbon-producing countries of the world. But we need to start by getting our own house in order. Carbon emissions have risen for five of the past eight years and we are not currently on track to meet our domestic target for 2010.
To turn this around we need to do two things. First, annual targets are essential in order to provide accountability. And second, an independent body should set and enforce these targets and be able to adjust them in the light of circumstances. That would take the politics out of climate change and show our intention to get to grips with the problem. I have been pressing the Prime Minister for a Climate Change Bill, in November's Queen's Speech, which includes both these things. Those wanting to support the campaign should visit www.canihavethebillplease.co.uk. The Liberal Democrats are in favour of a Bill, as are many Labour backbenchers. I want all political leaders to work together to achieve something which will have an impact that outlasts us all.
3: As an individual, I am adapting my house to be more energy efficient (for example fitting solar panels on the roof). And I am taking the steps we can all take to make a difference like trying not to overfill the kettle, buying energy saving lightbulbs, and switching my energy supplier to a renewable source (through climatechangenow.com). As an MP and Party Leader I've encouraged our members and supporters to take similar steps. We are all in this together, and every one of us must do our bit.
Sir Menzies Campbell
North East Fife, LibDem, Leader, Liberal Democratic Shadow Cabinet
1: Climate change is the greatest moral challenge to the politicians and people of our generation. It requires urgent action. We have a narrow window of opportunity within which we can affect the course of climate change. In ten years it could be too late.
2: Britain may contribute only 2% of global emissions, but we need to establish our good faith by practising what we preach and by taking a decisive lead in two ways. First, by cutting our emissions we will be meeting what is surely a moral international obligation and show other countries the way forward, as well as bringing economic benefits that will accrue from being at the forefront of new green technologies. Second by using our position within the world to lead international negotiations to achieve international agreements on cutting emissions. The EU led on Kyoto, and can do so again.
This government's failure to commit to very basic common sense measures in the face of climate change is the key problem in the UK. Liberal Democrats want to reverse this position and put Britain at the forefront of the battle against climate change.Earlier this year Liberal Democrats launched their green taxation paper, The Green Switch. The policies it outlines are aimed at curbing carbon emissions and halting global warming. It envisages a system of green taxation that will change behaviour and safeguard our planet. We are not in favour of higher taxes overall but green taxes are an efficient lever by which we can ensure that our individual behaviour is collectively sustainable.
It is also important that people are encouraged to change their habits and try to cut unnecessary energy wastage. By turning down the thermostat, using energy saving light bulbs and not leaving appliances on standby we can all help to save the environment and simultaneously save money.
3: My constituency has a long history of being environmentally friendly and can be proud of its high rates of recycling. North East Fife has also been at the forefront of the eco-schools scheme, with pupils, teachers and parents all doing their best to conserve energy and protect the environment, with Dunino Primary School becoming the first mainland school in Scotland to achieve green flag status. I have also made a personal commitment to the environment starting with my own house, which now boasts energy saving light bulbs, and trying to ensure that use of central heating and household appliances is kept to a minimum. I have also given up my previous car, on the basis that it was too damageing to the environment. The environment is worth the sacrifice.
Orkney & Shetland, Lib Dem Transport Spokesman
1: It is the biggest single challenge facing the world today. The three warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. 19 of the warmest 20 years have been since 1980. There is now an almost universal acceptance in the scientific community that climate change is something which must be addressed now as a matter of great urgency.
Legally binding targets on carbon emissions would be a good start. However, if almost a decade of Labour Government has taught us anything it is surely that targets alone are never enough. Targets must be matched with effective policies so that carbon emissions are brought down. To achieve that the burden of taxation must move off people and onto polluting activities. Only with the right set of incentives will we see the radical change in behaviour that is needed.
2: Britain has a role to play not only in cutting carbon emissions at home, but in making the case for lower emissions at an international level. Pollution from aircraft, for example, would be more effectively tackled if aviation was included in the European Emissions Trading Scheme. Britain must be at the forefront in making the case for such measures in international discussions.
3: I am conscious of the need to make every effort at home to use energy efficiently. I have signed the Energy Saving Trust's pledge. This highlights how very basic steps can have a big impact. Simple things such as not boiling more water than you need for a cup of tea, using energy saving light bulbs and not leaving appliances on standby can make a big difference. The Energy Savings Trust estimates that by taking fairly simple steps like this we could cut our energy use by up to 20%.
I have consistently championed the benefits of renewable energy from wind, tidal and wave power in Orkney and Shetland. I have attempted to persuade the DTI and Ofgem that their transmission charging regime would make the development of renewable energy sources in the isles very difficult. I have also supported, in my constituency and in Parliament, hydrogen made from renewable energy.
1: More and more evidence is coming forward to demonstrate that climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions is, by far, the biggest challenge that this planet faces. We have a limited amount of time to respond and must act now to minimise potential damaage.
2: We need to act to reduce the national greenhouse gas footprint, using incentives for "greener" lifestyles and technologies and disincentives to approaches that contribute disproportionately to the problem of global warming. We must work within the EU to strengthen the Emissions Trading Scheme and bring in to it problematic areas like aviation. This should be built upon to create a global E.T.S. on the basis of a " contract and converge" approach that will be fair to the developing world.
3: I support action by Councils, Business and Voluntary Groups within the Gower constituency that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enable individuals and families to reduce the negative impact of day to day living recycling, better public transport, provision of safe walking and cycling routes and the use of renewable energy. I based my Advice office on a good bus route to enable people to leave the car at home.
As a family, we are trying to use less energy in our home and when travelling and will continue to do so.
Morley & Rothwell, Labour, Chair, All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group
1: It is my most important concern.
2: Lead, lead and lead again at every level.
3: I have started to cut my personal carbon emissions (target 25% reduction in 5 years) and have challenged other members (60 have done so) to do the same; started the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group.
Bury North, Labour
1: The most difficult challenge that Governments have faced since the dinosaurs roamed the earth.
2: Ensure we remain the world's leading state in respect of negotiating international agreements, implementing practical policies and developing innovative new technologies.
3: I have signed up to the 25/5 personal carbon challenge; have switched my vehicle to one that runs on biodiesel, have re-insulated my home and intend to install a micro wind turbine and photovoltaic panel. In the constituency I have encouraged support for the Big Ask campaign for a Climate Change Bill and will shortly be launching the Bury Climate Change Action Group. Over the last four years I've managed to plant over 3000 trees on 15 acres of land I own. It should develop into a very useful carbon sink in the years ahead.
Barnsley West and Penistone, Labour
1: Climate change is probably the most important issue in the world today and this is recognised by the Government.
2: Britain is doing well in achieving its targets but global warming is a global problem and we need to tackle the problem worldwide, particular in the US and China and third world countries.
3: In my constituency I have already been out on the streets with a petition to press the Government to do more to stop climate change.
Tunbridge Wells, Conservative
1: Climate change and our response to it is more than just another concern. Every day hundreds of issues compete for public attention, but only a few emerge from the fray to stand out as compass points on the political map. Climate change needs to be in that category.
2: Britain can lead the way in renewables, energy efficiency and microgeneration:
* We are blessed with abundant offshore wind, wave and tidal resources and the marine engineering expertise to unlock their potential.
* For very different reasons, we also have enormous potential for reducing emissions through household energy efficiency currently our homes are among the most inefficient in western world.
* Britain led the way in liberalising our energy markets now we need to take this forward another stage, localising our energy networks, harnessing new clean technology to give families and communities control over the production and consumption of energy.
3: As a private individual I can do all the usual things, but it is an MP that I can make the biggest difference. I don't believe that we will ever mount a sufficient response to climate change by depending on personal virtue alone. Systemic changes are required, the cost of carbon has to be comprehensively and reliably priced into everyday economic decision making. Politicians will have the responsibility of creating and maintaining the necessary framework of incentives and disincentives.
It is a huge task and one which will be complicated by those seeking to twist the framework to their own advantage. Success will depend on concerted, cross-party efforts to ensure the effectiveness and integrity of the policy making process.
North Ayrshire and Arran, Labour
1: It is potentially the most important issue facing not just Britain but the whole world. Already we are seeing changes in our weather conditions in the UK and around the globe. Left unchecked Climate Change will have a devastating effect on the lives of millions of people globally with the most vulnerable in society hit hardest.
2: The first step would be to introduce a Climate Change Bill in this year's Queen's Speech which contains targets for a 3% reduction year-on-year of greenhouse gas emissions. Individually, we can all make small changes in our everyday lives which will cumulatively make a difference. At a Governmental level a lead should be taken, not only in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases from Government building and institutions but by setting down further legislation. Millions of electrical appliances are left on standby causing tonnes of greenhouse gases emissions each year. The Government should put in place measures which would ensure that any new electrical appliances for sale in the UK should have an automatic cut-off switch to prevent products being left on standby. Furthermore the UK Government should take a lead in promoting this at a European and a global level.
3: I have written to the Prime Minister and to the Secretary of State for the Environment asking for a Climate Change Bill to be introduced in the next session of Parliament. I am working locally with constituents who have raised the issue of Climate Change and with national organisations such as the Friends of the Earth to see that this issue is at the top of the political agenda. I supported the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act through its parliamentary stages which requires the Secretary of State to place before Parliament each year a report setting out what steps have been taken to tackle Climate Change by the Government.
Norwich South, Labour
1: Absolutely central to our future. Sustainability has to be central part of the policies and practice of all organisations and individuals.
2: In my opinion the two biggest areas are transport and energy. In transport we have to try and decrease the number of car journeys, particularly in travelling from home to work and home to school. In energy we need to create a framework of energy rules which encourage all organisations and individuals to generate renewable energy and reduce energy consumption.
3: Encouraging green transport and energy policies for a variety of local organisations and, personally, travelling by car less.
1: I do regard climate change as an extremely important issue.
2: I do believe that the United Kingdom should take steps as quickly as possible to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that this country produces. This will require sensible and practical measures such as investing in more environmentally friendly methods of generating energy and developing new technologies, the various forms of transport and industrial activity that create emissions. When I was Chancellor of the Exchequer I did make use of environmental taxation as I introduced the Landfill Tax and Aircraft Passenger Tax. However, I am cautious about some of the taxes now being proposed as they would need to be pitched at very high levels indeed to make a serious difference to air travel or road travel, which I do not think should be made the prerogative of the wealthy.
3: I take as many steps as I can to ensure that I do not waste energy in my private life.
1: I passionately believe that climate change is one of the greatest problems we face today. It is essential that politicians take rapid action to address this issue at local, national and international levels. As a Westminster MP I, along with my Liberal Democrat colleagues, support a Climate Change Bill which would set binding, independently monitored, annual targets for reducing emissions, but I also recognise the need for additional policy measures to make this happen. As a first step the Lib Dems are currently promoting a 'Green Tax Switch', which would introduce and increase green taxes on high emission vehicles and aircraft, whilst reducing income taxes elsewhere.
2: Britain should and can lead the way with regards to tackling climate change, using its unique influence in the many international organisations to which it is a member. However, to have any credibility in this respect we must first put our own house in order, cutting UK emissions which currently represent 2% of the global total. As with Kyoto the EU will have a major role to play and Britain should work constructively to support this.
3: I am installing energy saving light bulbs throughout my home and I try to use public transport as far as possible. I recycle recyclable waste at home, try to cut down on the unnecessary use of paper in the office, and unplug all unused electrical appliances. Energy consumption will certainly be a far greater consideration next time I look to purchase a new car or household appliances such as a fridge or kettle. I am also looking into switching to more environmentally responsible gas and electricity suppliers.
Leyton & Wanstead, Labour
1: Very important as it can cause massive economic disruption, humanitarian crises and war.
2: It can introduce relevant taxes and stricter regulation to limit carbon emissions. It can be in the forefront of greener technology and work for a far better international response.
3: Better energy efficiency, including improved loft insulation, switching appliances off instead of leaving on standby, only boiling a kettle with the amount of water needed, and energy saving lighting. I am considering a more efficient boiler and solar panels for the future.
Old Bexley & Sidcup, Conservative
Climate change is undoubtedly a very important issue, however the political and media class should balance present attempts to convince individual Britons that only by individual and national action can the global impact be contained. This is a world community issue and the challenges of development, particularly in Asia and Central Europe should not be glossed over by ceaseless campaigns to engender a personal eco guilt-culture in the UK.
Stockton North, Labour
1: Exceedingly important. As an issue it should be very close to, or actually at, the top of everyone's priority list not just politicians' wherever they live on the planet.
2: We should at least meet all our Kyoto targets and, wherever possible, exceed them. To ensure the success of this initiative, however, Britain must exhort and persuade every other nation to align itself with the same position to achieve a collective and co-operative success.
3: I have called for a more sensible attitude to nuclear generation. I have been a lifelong advocate of renewable and sustainable energies and have in the recent past been both Chair and President of the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Group. Furthermore, I have acquired an electrically powered tricycle scooter as an alternative means of transport between my London address and the House of Commons.
West Lancashire, Labour
1: Climate change is an immediate priority for the UK and the rest of the World as it poses a severe threat to the global economy, human life and the environment. By demonstrating our commitment to dealing with climate change by actions not words, we can change the terms of debate and persuade other countries to follow suit. UK emissions are about 2% of the global total. Domestic action alone will not tackle the problem, we need our international colleagues to join with us
The rise in temperature is likely to be partly responsible for the current rise in extreme weather in terms of heat waves, droughts, storms and floods. All of the ten warmest years since 1850 have occurred since 1990. There is a real threat and danger to the future of the planet and its inhabitants if we do not act to stop climate change.
2: There is a fear that tackling climate change just means increased taxes whereas it is really about encouraging a change of behaviour to help reduce carbon emissions. Since 2000, the Government has introduced a number of measures that focus on making the UK a low carbon economy. This has included the introduction of a climate change levy, an Energy Efficiency Commitment, set a ten per cent renewables target and introduced the renewables obligation. The UK has been the first country to launch an Emissions Trading Scheme and led the way in the launch of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme
As part of the Kyoto Protocol, the UK is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5 per cent by 2008-2012. We are on target to achieve nearly double that figure and we have one of the best records of any country in tackling greenhouse gas emissions. Between 1997 and 2005 the economy has grown by 25% while emissions have reduced by 7%, which shows that increasing business does not have to mean increased carbon emissions.
I also welcome the Labour Governments announcement of a Climate Change Bill, which will put in place the long-term framework and policies we need to tackle climate change in the UK. The Bill will set out the Government's long-term goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent by 2050. It will also establish an independent body the Carbon Committee to work with Government to reduce emissions over time and across the economy.
The Government is also taking tough decisions to ensure secure energy supplies and to reform our transport systems as they are integral to how we can tackle climate change.
It is imperative we take action on climate change if we are to preserve the planet and its great eco-systems for future generations. The costs of inaction will be far greater than tackling climate change now. We must continue to show global leadership on this issue and encourage international colleagues to play their part in reducing carbon emissions.
3: I write a regular column for one of my local newspapers and have included the issue of climate change on several occasions encouraging people to put into action at least one of the tens simple steps to stop climate change.
Making small changes to our daily lives, reducing our heating by even 1ºC or simply turning appliances off not just leaving them on standby, all contributes to reducing our impact on the environment.
I have also put out a number of press releases on the issue as well. The most recent press release was to support the Labour Government's announcement of a Climate Change Bill.
In my constituency I met with the local Friends of the Earth group to discuss what action the Government is taking in relation to climate change and to hear their concerns about the scale of the threat climate change poses for us.
Personally I have begun to change my behaviour, which not only contributes to saving the planet, but saves me money too. I will be registering my own personal footprint on the RSA CarbonDaq, and I'd encourage others to do so. You can calculate your carbon footprint and compare it others registered on the site. The site also enables you to see the impact of behaviour change.
In the Constituency Office we are using energy saving light bulbs, which use significantly less energy than ordinary light bulbs and can save up to £100 on the electricity bill over the lifetime of the bulb.
I am sending a climate change newsletter to all those constituents who contact me on the subject. In the newsletter are ten simple steps that will enable individuals to help stop climate change.
Torridge & West Devon, Conservative
1: I believe that climate change is one of the greatest problems facing us today. It is clear that we must take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or the consequences for future generations are likely to be severe.
2: We can, as individuals and as a nation, cut our own emissions. To do this the Government should introduce independently set, legally binding, year on year cuts of the most dangerous and polluting gases we generate.
We can also invest in the development of sustainable energy alternatives, which can be both used domestically, to increase take up of alternative and microgeneration technologies, and exported.
3: Earlier this year I hosted a very successful microgeneration seminar and exhibition in my constituency which was attended by 500 people. The day was designed to show what steps, small and large, people can take to reduce their energy usage and carbon emissions. Due to the positive response we received I hope to hold similar events in the future.
I have asked one of the local renewable energy associations to visit my house to give me advice on ways in which I might generate some of my own heat and energy. I have cut my car travel and go by train whenever I can. I use wood burning stoves to heat my home, I switch electrical equipment off when not in use and I have installed modern roof insulation. There is more to do!
Preseli Pembrokeshire, Conservative
1: Climate change is the greatest challenge facing mine and my children's generations. It does not merely represent a crisis fifty years from now but poses imminent, serious challengers here and now.
2: Britain has a moral duty to position itself at the forefront of global efforts to cut carbon emissions. It is not merely a question of " doing our bit". It is about assuming a leadership role in which we demonstrate to the world the possibilities and opportunities created by becoming a low carbon economy. We also have an enormous diplomatic role to play in encouraging our international partners to also embark on the journey of developing less energy-intensive economies.
3: Personally, I have made the choice to take the train for most of the long journey between my constituency and Westminster rather than use my car (even though the car is quicker and arguably more convenient. Within our household we recycle a significant proportion of our domestic waste and in the last year have begun to compost the organic waste. Most recently we have become aware of the enormous amount of energy wasted by electrical appliances being on standby and we have decided to try to reduce this as much as possible.
1: Climate change is a huge issue for all politicians, nationally and internationally.
2: We have already done a great deal in making homes warmer through our Decent Homes Standard and Warm front schemes and our climate change levy on business. We need now to change individuals' behaviour and this is more difficult. Cleaner travel and better awareness about the small things that make a difference is key.
3: I cycle to Westminster and take my son to nursery by bike every day and so does my husband. We have reduced our annual mileage to about 3000 miles a year. We are introducing low energy light bulbs in our home and try to buy low energy appliances. We have also installed a water meter to make us think more about our water consumption.
Skipton & Ripon, Conservative
1: Inescapably climate change is the dominant issue which should form the framework for a huge range of policy decisions.
2: The UK needs to be axamining policies which still permit private transport to be the mos rational economic transsport for many journeys because of the high cost (and unbelievable complexity) of much public transport pricing (why is public transport so much cheaper on the continent?)It would help to have incentives for doing the obvious things e.g. home insulation and householders would be aided by being able to access a simple audit of their properties (please by a person not a machine)yielding a menu of improvemenrts whicjh were both accessible, affordable and offered at least a token pay-back. Planning permission for environmentally friendly energy activities should be easier in areas where there is no conflict of environmental aids e.g. in the Thames estuary. On the more sophisticated level the UK should deplay its expertise via the Eu in developing technologies like carbon capture for use in China where environmental issues may start to bite.
3: Personally I have switched where possible to pulic transport to go up and down to constituency ( at a huge addition to time and wear and tear), have a light-bulb blitz planned and am only deterred from a turbine by the existence of a regionally important colony of bats in my barn. ALL compostible waste is composted and recycled onto the garden and I have re-commissioned the bicycle for local errands like trips for the paper.
1: Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge facing the world today. Unless taken seriously, climate change will permanently alter the human way of life throughout the world.
2: Britain can do a great deal to change its own environmental practices as well as influencing those nations which fail to grasp the urgency of this issue. I would also like to see the government bring in firmer CO? emission regulation to complement existing tax regimes
I wholeheartedly support the argument made by the Prime Minister that if the Government spends £150bn a year on goods and services, "changing the way we spend this money, so it helps prevent climate change and protects our environment, could have a huge impact".
I would like to see central government leading the way on sustainable, setting an example not only for British citizens, but also for other national governments, that they may take a similar direction in pioneering such initiatives.
3: In my constituency amongst other things, when St. Jerome's RC Primary School burnt down in 2001, I insisted on ensuring that the replacement would be as sustainable as possible, both in the materials it is built with and especially the energy and water the school uses. I also suppo rted plans to introduce wind turbines in a number of locations around Merseyside.
Personally, I do a lot of walking and cycling as well as being a keen user of public transport.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies