Saturday, 25 April 2015

Climate change: and the views of East Devon's parliamentary candidates

The Exeter Express & Echo has put a reader's question to all five East Devon parliamentary candidates:

East Devon constituency: Readers’ questions answered - climate change

18 April 2015 Sean Keywood

East Devon constituency candidates for the General Election answer readers’ questions

As a coastal and agricultural community, Exmouth is particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. If you were elected as MP what steps would you urge on Government to reduce carbon emissions?

Andrew Chapman (UKIP)

EU regulations on carbon emissions are a product of the hold the German Green Party has had on the coalitions it has joined. The result has been absurd amounts of money being thrown at windfarms which will never ever produce the energy needs of the European nations. The Earth has a perfectly satisfactory CO2 control system called trees, and it is up to us to prepare for, and channel, whatever cooling water comes our way, as indeed our responsible forefathers did, with buckets and spades as necessary. Developing the seafront before building adequate sea defences is certainly a curious decision.

Stuart Mole (Liberal Democrats)

Climate change is real and, as global warming takes place, poses great threats to all humanity. Nationally, Liberal Democrats in government (sometimes in the face of strong Conservative opposition) have ensured the adoption of more green policies than ever before. For example, investment in renewables has doubled and twice as much energy is now from renewables. We have insulated a million homes and cut energy use. International action is also vital in reducing EU emissions by 40 per cent by 2030, and securing global agreement at the 2015 Paris summit. The next parliament must build on this and do better still.

Stephen Race (Labour)

In opposition, David Cameron promised that his would be ‘the greenest Government ever’. This has turned out to be nothing but another empty promise from the Tories. From trying to privatise our ancient woodlands, to slashing flood defence spending, and refusing to set a target for de-carbonising our electricity grid, this Government is putting at risk the wellbeing of future generations. In Government, Labour will step up to this challenge - we will totally decarbonise the electricity grid by 2030, work for an ambitious outcome at next year’s UN Paris summit, and create a million new jobs in the green economy.

Hugo Swire (Conservative)

We need to continue to deliver investment in green and low carbon energy. Our Energy Act is making the private sector invest in new nuclear and other low carbon energy – with renewables more than doubled and greenhouse emissions down 15 per cent since 2010. On a domestic level, we will continue to cut the green taxes that add to bills, increase competition so people can get better deals, force energy companies to give people the cheapest tariff, help families make their homes more efficient, and make the investment needed in our alternative energy supply.

Claire Wright (Independent)

Exmouth and other East Devon communities are vulnerable to flooding as a result of climate change. It is a major problem which must be addressed by reducing our use of fossil fuels and reducing CO2 emissions. I vehemently oppose fracking which would increase both.

Devon is well placed to provide renewable energy – tidal from two coasts, lots of fast flowing rivers, and plenty of sun and wind. As East Devon’s MP, I would press the Government to take advantage of these renewable energy opportunities, and boost the local economy. I would also seek to increase our investment in energy conservation measures.

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