General Election 2019: How would North West Cambridgeshire candidates support the environment sector?
We asked candidates standing in North West Cambridgeshire : 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?
Shailesh Vara, Conservative
Conservatives are leading the way in the fight against climate change. Whether it is the city council, young people or local businesses, our community is committed to tackling the climate emergency and ensuring a sustainable environment is passed on to the next generation.
Peterborough City Council has a strong record on environmental measures and has committed to improving their carbon performance, achieving 100 per cent clean energy across its businesses and services by 2030. Environmental impact will be considered in all policy decisions and a Citizens’ Assembly set up to involve the wider population in this process.
I wholeheartedly support the council in their commitment to the environment. So too will a Conservative government. The UK has reduced greenhouse gases by a quarter since coming to office in 2010 and also reduced emissions faster than any other major economy.
We have legislated to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and we will establish a new £500 million Blue Planet Fund to help protect our oceans from plastic pollution, rising sea temperatures and overfishing. The first Conservative budget will invest in environmental research and development, new flood defences and clean energy.
A vote for the Conservatives on December 12 is a vote for a government committed to tackling climate change and an MP determined to support our local community to effect real change.
Cathy Cordiner-Achenbach, Labour Party
We need to take this climate crisis seriously. We need to start now and protect our planet for generations to come.
We need to think differently, approach the challenges differently.
Labour will kick start a Green Industrial Revolution that will create one million jobs in the UK alongside 320,000 climate apprenticeships to transform our industry, energy, transport, agriculture and help the Green Economy.
We will achieve the substantial majority of our emissions reductions by 2030.
A Labour government will build 7,000 new offshore wind turbines and 2,000 new on-shore wind turbines.
We need to look holistically and Labour’s Green New Deal does just that, ensuring that agriculture, the steel industry, the automotive sector amongst others can be innovative and offer positive economic opportunities as well as protecting our environment.
Nicola Day, Green Party
Scientists tell us we have until 2030 to avoid irreparable damage to the planet.
The Green Party will invest £100billion a year for 10 years in the Green New Deal: new green homes, new green transport and new green jobs will get us on track to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030, providing opportunities for everyone to live happier and more secure lives.
In our area, I’ll campaign for local authorities to regain control over bus services, restoring lost bus routes and opening new ones that work well for our city and the surrounding townships and villages. I’ll campaign for more bus priority measures on our roads to increase punctuality. I’ll call for improvements in the facilities at local bus stops and stations, making both more welcoming and convenient. I’ll campaign for a carbon tax on all fossil fuels and for an increase the cost of petrol and diesel, and I’ll encourage more active, healthier modes of transport.
I will lobby the government on behalf of our city council to ensure every home in Peterborough is insulated, significantly reducing energy bills. New homes should be built to the highest standard of energy efficiency. Solar panels and other forms of renewable domestic energy enable residents to generate their own energy. Polluting boilers should be replaced with renewable heat from heat pumps and solar thermal, geothermal, biomass and stored heat technologies.
The clock is ticking. It’s time to vote for the world our children and grandchildren will inherit.
Bridget Smith, Liberal Democrat Party
As well as being the Leader of a District Council in a high growth area I am also the political lead on the Environment for the OxCam Arc and until recently worked as a consultant specialising in environmentally sustainable community buildings.
It is imperative that Central Government takes a lead by legislating to allow those of us who want to do the utmost to prepare for a zero carbon future to do so and more importantly to force those who are not taking the urgency of the situation seriously enough to do the maximum too.
Why should we do this?
We now know that we are past the point where we have any choice and in fact we may well have left it all too late.
But that just means that we have to do more and we have to do it faster.
In all of Cambridgeshire we have an infrastructure deficit, a housing deficit and a natural capital deficit, with fewer trees than most other parts of the county.
We must put the environment as the overarching priority in everything we do in NW Cambridgeshire including leading the way in house building to use modern methods of construction, renewable energy, the highest standards of energy efficiency, water recycling and sustainable travel.
The simplest solution in local terms is to deliver places where car use is far from a necessity or even discouraged and where everyone has access to quality, reliable and affordable public transport