• Paul Wharton

A few lifestyle tweaks will not be enough

In last week’s Chronicle Laura Trott was right to draw attention to the climate crisis, and to describe it as a serious threat. Unfortunately the solutions she focused on in her ‘summit’ don’t match the scale of the problem.

Local initatives may help to raise people’s awareness and generate support for green policies, but we can’t rely on individual consumers to bring about the changes that are needed. A few lifestyle tweaks aren’t going to be enough. Even councils such as KCC are very limited in what they can do about this worldwide emergency. The funds and powers are simply not there.

That brings us to the national government of which Ms Trott is a member. They really can make a difference – if they choose to do so.

Only the government can tell the fossil-fuel companies to stop opening new oil fields or coalmines, for example, and phase out taxpayer subsidies. They should be supporting clean energy instead.

Only ministers can overturn their disastrous decision to expand airports and spend twenty-seven billion pounds on the road network. Active travel and better public transport must be our priorities now.

And only MPs can vote to make the changes we need a national reality. Please, no more pledges or promises. It’s time for action.

As a starting point, Laura, perhaps you could state your opposition to any airport expansion in south-east England. That’s a policy that would go down very well here in Sevenoaks.

Source: Sevenoaks Chronicle (p.12), 25/11/2021

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