The environment should be at the heart of the election

If there is one issue that should be at the heart of this election, it is climate change. When we next choose a government (in 2022), it’s likely that global temperature will have risen 1.5C. That’s the level that nations (including the UK) pledged at Paris in 2015 should not be breached to avoid dangerous climate change.

At current rates of burning coal, gas and oil, we are on track to put enough carbon in the atmosphere in the next five years to push us past that temperature increase.

But it’s not inevitable. Rapidly increasing our efforts to reduce emissions – from homes, businesses and transport – and installing more renewable energy give us a fighting chance. To build support, politicians must spell out the consequences of not taking the decisive action urgently required on climate change and introduce policies that will drive that action.

Greens have long campaigned for warmer and more efficient homes, renewable energy, public transport, and better provision for cycling – measures that reduce emissions and are cheaper for society in the long term.

I urge voters to find out where the other parties’ candidates stand on climate change and press them to commit to increased action. Because, whatever government we have and however hard or soft Brexit is, the challenge of climate change will still be with us.

Rob Palgrave, Hereford

Published in The Guardian 4/5/17

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