I greatly enjoyed visiting Millais School last week and discussing with students the topics they had decided to explore as part of their Citizenship Fair. I was very impressed at the project areas the students are exploring - including concerns such as human trafficking, homelessness and domestic abuse. None of these issues are distant from us in Horsham, all can have an impact on our local communities.
Rather than simply coming up with “easy” answers, the students were clearly aware of not only the vital importance of the issues they were raising but the complexities in finding comprehensive answers that work. It was really encouraging to see the commitment and seriousness with which they were approaching these issues.
Another area covered which is a source of massive concern for young people is the environment. As well as discussing this issue with Millais students on Friday it was a pleasure to meet a group of constituents in Westminster last week including members of The Woodland Trust, National Trust and CAFOD, who had come to Parliament to highlight the importance of tackling climate change and protecting our environment.
They chose a good week to come to Westminster with Parliament voting last week to target net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We are moving swiftly towards a more sustainable future. Greenhouse gas emissions are now 43% below 1990 levels. Our use of renewable energy has increased six-fold since 2010 and 33% of our energy is now derived from renewable sources.
We were already on track to be 80 per cent of the way to net zero by 2050 and I am delighted that we are now targeting net zero by that year. This targeting and what we have already achieved means that the UK is leading the major industrialised world on this issue. I know many want us to move even faster and I hope the impetus we are generating will help bring forward the technology required: enabling us to hit targets and grow our economy at the same time. There is much to do but the UK’s commitment is very evident, we are making huge progress and other countries without our advantages will be able to learn from our experience.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Quin joined students at Millais for their Citizenship Fair last week