Thursday, 10 March 2016

Climate Week in Sidmouth >>> Campaign against Climate Change @ The Climate Variety Show >>> Fri 11th March

At tomorrow evening's Climate Change event, there will be all sorts of groups and projects represented:

One other group which will be present will be the Campaign against Climate Change:

Their local representative will be at the event tomorrow night - and here is a recent letter from him in the Herald - although these views do not necessarily represent those of the CaCC:

Dear Herald,

In defending the withdrawal of state support for clean renewable energies, like solar power, Hugo Swire says the “open market” not government intervention is the answer (Herald 29/1/16). At the same time he advocates massive spending on the nuclear industry, and ironically this involves a reliance on the Chinese and French state owned companies to build and run these plants. Despite the reality that the so called free market is always skewed to some extent, Tories seem to have an ideological dependency on a utopian idea of the “open market” which in reality means the current government walking away from a responsibility for serious, joined up, long term planning to provide safe, sustainable energy and reduce carbon emissions.

Since May 2015 clean energy technology has been side lined in favour of a dash for gas and fracking. Roads and runways have been pushed through despite
strong local opposition. It is noticeable that protest against wind turbines are favoured by the current government whilst local concerns about fracking or a nuclear plant in the area are overlooked.

The truth is Tory policy changes are wrecking our climate.

Amongst the many set backs the current government has removed on shore wind subsidy with support for the cheapest form of clean energy now ending in April 2016. Planning changes to block onshore wind will make it much more difficult to build wind turbines, even when schemes have community support. Cuts to solar funding are endangering a vital industry in order to save households just 50p-£1.20 a year on bills. New community energy projects, like that proposed by SidEnergy, which help not just our climate but have many benefits for local communities, will be far more difficult to establish

Renewables will now pay the climate change levy - which was meant to encourage renewables - extending this tax to them it will cost the industry £3.9 billion.

There are planning changes to fast-track fracking with only 16 weeks allowed for councils to object. Even when councils reach a decision, ministers may overrule it.

There have been tax breaks for fossil fuels with £1.3 billion more announced in March.

The weak Green Deal scheme which was badly conceived and implemented by the last government has not been replaced. Osborne announced in his autumn
statement that funding for grants for insulation and efficient boilers for low-income households would also be cut. The Tories have scrapped the Zero Carbon Homes target - which was supported by housebuilders and introduced by Labour.

Massive road-building plans, a £15 billion road-building spree, is still going ahead amid austerity in other areas. There is no integrated plan for investment in sustainable public transport systems that serve the needs of local communities.

Climate change is a problem we all hold in common. It’s too important to leave to the “open market”.

Graeme Tweedy
Malvern Road


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