Peterborough General Election candidates on how they would help city tackle climate emergency
We asked candidates in Peterborough: The city council has declared a climate emergency and Peterborough aims to be a leader in the environment sector, what would you do to support this?
Mike Green (Brexit Party)
Whist at school in Peterborough (Bretton) in the 1970s/80s I studied A level geography and conducted a project focused on Peterborough and New Town development.
I was impressed that 10 trees were planted for every tree felled in the creation of the housing, and that the estates were designed so all homes were close to green parks and open space.
I also loved, and spent many hours, at Nene Park, (formerly Ferry Meadows Country Park), not just for its beauty and recreational activities, but also because of the many environmental and wildlife projects and initiatives.
Initiatives such as restoring the water meadows or planting trees, helping to mitigate climate change, manage flooding and support the environment.
Peterborough has a strong heritage of caring for, and investing in, the environment, and in 2008 the city set a target of creating the UK’s Environment Capital.
Whilst I am known for criticising many things about our local council, I commend them for starting and continuing to pursue this goal.
We all can, and should, do more to contribute to making, and sustaining, Peterborough as a leading example in the environment sector. I would like to see an improvement in air quality in the city. We are seeing congestion at rush hours and weekends, which only increases as we approach the peak Christmas shopping period.
I suggest we should learn from the likes of Cambridge with a ‘park & ride’ service into the centre, improving and extending Peterborough’s excellent Green Wheel for cycling and improved traffic reduction schemes.
Schemes such as these would reduce congestion, alleviate city centre parking and improve air quality.
Tom Rogers (Christian Peoples Alliance)
The CPA affirms that we have a duty to be the best possible custodians of God’s creation - our planet and its natural resources. We therefore have a developed programme of policies for greening the economy and transport, which you can find in our 2019 Manifesto (www.cpaparty.net).
Our approach to ‘climate change’ is a sensible and cautionary one. We have to be very careful about being panicked or coerced into measures that in themselves would be catastrophic to our industries, economy and human freedoms in response to alarmist claims of a ‘climate emergency’ and ‘climate extinction’.
Contrary to the establishment narrative that ‘the science is settled’ (in itself an unscientific statement) the extent to which recent changes in temperatures are unnatural, dangerous to our survival and/or caused by human activity are questions still contested by many scientists, and which require much more open scientific freedom, investigation and debate than is currently being allowed.
The earth’s climate after all has never been something static but has always been constantly changing and evolving in the absence of human presence or attempted control.
We will therefore implement effective but proportionate policies best in themselves for the environment and long-term provision for humanity, and not just because they reduce carbon omissions. It is right that we seek to eliminate pollution, continuously improve energy efficiency, increase recycling and strive to further the use of renewable sources of energy, and we have detailed policies in all these areas which I would support also at a local level.
Joseph Wells (Green Party)
The climate emergency requires that we act now!
We already know that degradation of the environment is causing suffering, and that those affected first and affected most are children, older people and the poor.
We must fight to protect the natural resources upon which human and other life depend.
The climate emergency will bring about mass exoduses and geopolitical turmoil on a scale for which no country is prepared. There are measures local communities can take to ward off some of the effects of a climate disaster.
As a Green MP, I will campaign for the creation of a single universal framework to fight for our green spaces and for new legislation for improvements to sustainable transport, recycling rates and waste management. Doing nothing is no longer an option. There is no planet B.
Beki Sellick, Liberal Democrats - To Stop Brexit
I support with my work, lifestyle and campaigning.
1. Work. As an engineer, I deliver sustainable transport and infrastructure to fight climate change. I innovate to make trains cleaner, better and more accessible. As MP, I would fight for new stations in Peterborough and our own light-rail to reduce congestion and emissions. LibDems will switch electricity generation to 80% renewable by 2030. We’d electrify the railway to Cambridge, taking lorries off the road and making journeys faster (and safer than the A14).
2. Lifestyle. Commended in PECT’s Best Green Family awards in 2013, we’re bike-riders with solar panels and low waste. We’re lucky to be healthy: able to walk, turn the heating down and cook locally-produced food. LibDems will focus on wellbeing and reverse biodiversity loss with a Nature Act. We will build 100,000 homes for social rent every year and implement zero-carbon standards.
We will end fuel poverty with home insulation. We will plant 60 million trees to clean up the air we breathe.
3. Campaigning. In Peterborough, I’ve helped save local buses (and demand that they’re electric).
I’ve called for green investments that pay back, for infrastructure that reduces our carbon footprint, for policies that penalise polluters and support the circular economy. Beyond our city, LibDems will Stop Brexit to sustain international action: only the threat of EU fines has stopped the UK government going back on commitments.
As Peterborough’s LibDem MP, I would help build a country where every person, every community and our planet can thrive.
Paul Bristow (Conservative)
Climate change is an incredibly important and difficult challenge. We face some of that challenge around Peterborough, especially flooding in the fens. But the main part of the challenge is behavioural and technological: ensuring that the UK is carbon-neutral by 2050.
We should be proud that our country is leading the world on carbon reduction. Already, we have cut harmful emissions by a quarter since 2010. That’s faster than any other major economy.
Over £90 billion has been invested by businesses in clean energy, helping to create 400,000 low-carbon jobs.
A third of our energy now comes from renewable sources and we are ending the use of coal by 2025.
There are still massive tasks for government ahead. That includes other governments – because if the UK acts alone, we will barely dent the global problem of emissions.
There are also tasks for us locally. Almost everyone in Peterborough can do better when it comes to recycling, or avoiding single-use products, or using energy efficiently. That includes me. And what gets me more frustrated than anything else is fly-tipping.
An irresponsible minority use our communities as dumping grounds. It’s environmental vandalism. Not only is the waste bad for the climate, but it damages all aspects of our local quality of life.
It requires leadership to get a zero-tolerance approach. I want those who do it to be filmed, to be caught and to be fined. Like much else at this election it’s time to get it done.
Lisa Forbes (Labour)
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing our world today, and I am acutely aware of the responsibility I would hold as your MP to ensure that we finally tackle the climate emergency and build a better world for future generations.
We are at crisis point, and Johnson’s Conservatives seem unwilling to act in the interests of our planet. One example of this is their insistence on ploughing ahead with fracking, not to mention their lacklustre response to the Amazon rainforest fires, refusing to criticise those who are destroying our planet for financial gain.
Peterborough has the potential to lead the way on climate change, particularly as our city is already a leader in electric vehicle usage.
We must be bold and willing to make the changes necessary to ensure the health of our planet. It’s the Labour Party who are bringing the debate about a Green Industrial Revolution to the forefront.
This will create one million green jobs in the UK and transform our industry in a way that will protect both jobs and the planet.
Labour has committed to banning fracking, initiating large scale investment in renewables and phasing out fossil fuels, while creating 450,000 jobs by installing energy-saving measures in every house in the UK.
We have also pledged to protect our green spaces and ensure that more trees are planted and species are protected.
When all is said and done, only Labour has the vision and the ambition to solve the climate emergency.