Climate Change – Green Question Time 2015

On 10th April we hosted a Green Question Time, attended by Steven Jackson (Conservative) and Angela Smith (Labour) and chaired by Paul Bridges. Here is the question about climate change

Given the consensus on climate change, why are mainstream parties failing to address the issue?

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Steven Jackson for webI don’t see it as climate change but an increase in extreme weather events.

I studied marine biology at university and saw how the effects of increased CO2 are even more extreme under water than on land. Whatever we do, it needs to be carbon neutral.

I don’t think political parties are doing enough. We need to address issues of power generation and cars. We need to build on the international consensus and the UK is leading the world in this respect by the actions we have taken. There is little we can do as the UK alone – all the world leaders need to take action. We need to get away from the short term.

Angela Smith for webGoing over 2oC would be dangerous. There is broad political consensus but there are still back woodsmen such as the former Secretary of State for the Environment who was a climate denier. This government has missed opportunities.

We need concrete policies at home in order to be listened to on the international stage. We need to be a leader and not a follower and Labour’s policy of de-carbonising electricity by 2030 is an example. We can’t argue in Paris (the next Climate Change talks) that everyone else should act if we haven’t. Developed countries have to take more of the burden.

Audience comment:

The short-termism of 5 year elections takes precedence over the long term policies needed to tackle climate change.

Agreed by both candidates

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