The Government’s own advisers, the Climate Change Committee, have pointed to the “yawning gap” between our net-zero ambitions and the reality of the agenda that the Government is currently offering.
It doesn’t have a fraction of the policies that we need. Meeting a target of net-zero by 2050 is far too late to avert climate catastrophe. You have only to look at the devastating heatwaves in North America, the floods in Europe and China and the fires in the Amazon and Australia to realise how quickly the climate is breaking down.
The failure of the UK and other countries to take action at the scale and speed required isn’t just harmless dithering, it’s dangerous and deadly.
Therefore, it was utterly disheartening that ESCC, at the Full Council meeting on 23rd July, voted against bringing forward the current target to reach net-zero by 2050 to the proposed date of 2030.
The Conservatives were keen to stress their green credentials, but their policies over the last 10 years have not changed far enough or fast enough.
The climate emergency cannot wait another 30 years. The last 16 months have shown that in tackling an emergency, as in Covid-19, the Government can move fast and find the funding.
The climate emergency is a far greater threat than the pandemic and if unchecked will destroy our precious planet.
Another huge disappointment was the vote against the motion for 20mph to be the default speed limit in urban areas. In my Ward, as in many others, residents’ lives are blighted by the dangerous traffic, especially in Wrestwood Road and Chantry Avenue, which are used as a “rat run” since the link road was built.
To reduce the speed limit would improve the safety of all road users, lessen pollution and encourage more people to walk or cycle.
To vote against this on the grounds that it will take too long to implement, and that the council seek “pragmatic solutions” is simply unacceptable.
It should not be about money, or any other excuse. Failing to tackle the problem is prioritising the comfort of this generation and putting at risk the safety and health of future generations.
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