I am proud that last year was the greenest year ever for the supply of energy with 33 per cent coming from renewable sources (up from 6.9 per cent in 2009). Over the same period we have shrunk our carbon emissions by 29 per cent while continuing to grow our economy.
We need to go further.
In hitting our world-leading target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 we will continue to support our offshore wind industry which will reach 400GW by 2030; invest £9.2bn in energy efficiency in homes, schools and hospitals; invest £800m to build the first fully deployed carbon capture and storage cluster by the mid 2020s; and invest £500m to help energy intensive industries adapt to low-carbon techniques.
We are hosting the UN Climate Change Summit in Glasgow next year and will be asking our global partners to match our ambition.
In leading by example globally we have doubled international climate finance; are establishing a £500m Blue Planet Fund to help protect the oceans from plastic, warming sea temperatures and overfishing. We will also extend our blue belt programme to help preserve the maritime environment.
We will invest in R&D, decarbonisation schemes and electric vehicle infrastructure including a national plug in network.
I love the fact that in our area there are so many committed schemes and projects that from the ground up are helping deliver on preventing climate change. From Horsham to Balcombe the range of ideas being put into practice and scale of ambition is immense.
What we can do as a country is hugely significant, not least in showing leadership to other industrialised nations. We need to take the country forward together in providing the answers.
I am hugely supportive of the hard work being conducted by many locally. While I declined the offer to participate in an Extinction Rebellion organised mid-day event today coinciding with a planned day of national school strikes. I am proud of our record and excited by our plans.
I was very willing to take part in an evening hustings organised by one of our local long standing environmental groups, specifically on climate issues. I suspect that would also enable more residents to attend.
Failing this I have been asked the specific question if, were I to be re-elected, would I be willing to meet local environmental groups to which the answer, as it has been in the past, is an unequivocal “YES!”.
I look forward to the general Candidate Hustings being held next week in which I am sure environmental questions will be prominent.
(Posted by Jeremy Quin who is promoted by Karen McGovern, both of Gough House, Madeira Avenue, Horsham RH12 1AB).