The recent environmental protests in London were part of a deep fear of the consequences for the world of Climate Change. I see this concern daily in talking to constituents but especially in the emails I receive from schools.
The fact that there is so much public support for us all to be more ambitious is good news.
Since 1990 the UK has cut its carbon emissions by over 40 per cent while growing our economy by over 70 per cent., the UK has decarbonised its economy in the last 20 years more than any other G20 state, bringing our emissions (it is estimated) down to our 1888 level. Our renewable capacity has quadrupled since 2010 and we have just enjoyed the longest period of national electricity generation without resorting to coal in our country’s history.
This proves what can be achieved. We really can make the difference and it is right to be more ambitious in the targets we set.
We need to help drive the debate internationally while further change is coming from three forces at home.
Government must of course set the agenda. This often comes from major steps like phasing out coal in electricity generation to practical steps with huge long term consequences – like ensuring that all new houses are future-proofed with low carbon heating.
It will come from the work of individuals seizing opportunities to drive this agenda forward – I am deeply impressed with, to name one leading example, Repower Balcombe for their pioneering work on renewables locally and even, via the rail network on a regional scale.
The corporate sector is also engaged in a way unimaginable 20 years ago. For companies being energy efficient is not only an end in itself, it inspires and attracts staff and cuts costs.
Last Friday I saw this in practice, visiting the Horsham HQ of Trend Control Systems, a global market leader in building management systems which employs 350 people locally.
The systems used by Trend means that they are able to remotely monitor and effectively manage the heating, ventilation and air conditioning of a building and spot problems immediately. A simple concept with a huge benefit attached.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Quin meeting team members at the Trend HQ in Horsham.