We will act to protect the future of our planet, with social justice at the heart of our environment policies – sounds like a huge pledge, doesn’t it? Well, it is but if you look at the the rest of the pledge, you can see we have a plan to fulfil the lofty ambition.
We cannot go on as a planet consuming raw materials as we do, polluting the seas and the air at the rate we are, destroying the environment in this way. With strong environmental regulations we will start the reversal of the damage we have caused.
Air pollution and pollution of the seas does not stop at national borders. If we pollute here, we pollute everywhere, if we destroy here, we destroy everywhere. Cutting down the rain forests does not only affect the people and animals living there but it affects all of us,. Currently approximately 18 million acres of rainforest is being destroyed per year, that the area roughly the size of Ireland every year! This releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, back into the atmosphere as well as reducing the amount of oxygen the trees can process to support life on earth. We need to reverse these effects and try to make the land that has been cleared, useful again.
In the 1980’s scientists discovered the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica. Thanks to the Montreal Protocol of 1987, there was an international ban on CFCs, all countries working together for a common cause, something we will have to do more often in the future. In 2015 scientists announced that the hole has started to shrink. It is expected that it will take until 2060 until it is fully closed but this gives hope that we can effect reversal of environmental damage
We will defend and extend the environmental protections gained from the European Union, this way we can start to get on track with our Climate Change Act goals. To protect our planet, we need to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy driving the expansion of green industries and jobs of the future. Using the National Investment Bank, we will invest in public and community-owned renewable energy. Environmental policies are an attitude of mind about what we consume and how we use it. It should also be about using brains and technology for sustainable generation of clean power. We have much to achieve and the motivation to push for this, for the benefit of our children and grandchildren.
We will deliver more clean energy and curb energy bill rises – energy for 60 million not wealth for the big 6! This will be delivered by supporting renewable energy such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydro, thus ensuring that our need for dirty, coal, oil, gas and nuclear energy is reduced. This in turn will support the UKs share of the Paris climate agreement. We have all heard the negative stories of unreliability, low efficiency levels and large upfront outlay but with investment, these issues are by far outweighed by the positive advantages. It is inherently eco-friendly, renewable, reliable, boosts public health and creates sustainable job growth. What’s not to like about that?
I know for some people, the environment doesn’t matter. So what if it gets warmer, isn’t that a good thing? Well no, it really isn’t about warming, it’s about the climate change and the speed it is changing. Just a 1 degree rise in temperature leads to a 6 metre rise in sea levels. We have caused this and we can start to reverse the effects by following the plan and more. We all need to think about the environment, it affects us all – Labour’s pledge to protect our environment will affect us all, positively.
Climate change has already happened. We can’t go back, all we can do is damage control. This is the current belief. However, as we have seen, when we all work together and support the scientists, we can bring about reversal.