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Letter: Missed chance to set new targets

5th June 2019

Letter published in the Bexhill Observer: Missed chance to set new targets

Dear Editor,

The last Labour government, sensibly in my view, set up the Department for Climate Change and introduced the Climate Change Act 2008 with a target to keep increases in global temperatures to below 2 degrees. Recent studies and reports have concluded that that is too high. Unless we cut faster, we risk tipping points such as melting permafrost, causing global warming to accelerate beyond control. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are recommending lower targets, and so far the response by our current Conservative government has been to abolish the Department for Climate Change and to ignore the pressure for lower limits.

At a local level, we do appear to have spurned the opportunity to introduce stricter environmental limits in the new Rother Local Plan which is before an Inspector at the moment. So if it the Plan goes through, we will have missed the opportunity at least locally to set new targets on such matters as improved building insulation, building orientation to capture maximum solar gain, encouragement of alternative energy supplies, all moves which would help Rother do its bit to reduce the climate change threat.

instead we face rising sea levels, extinction of species, desertification and extreme weather events: will the recent changes in make up of Rother and other local councils take up this challenge and begin to make that difference which rightly our children and grandchildren expect?

Yours faithfully

Stephen Hardy MBE
Trustee CPRE Sussex