Labour’s Purna Sen has welcomed the party’s strong commitment to tackle climate change and to set clear targets for the power sector.
Dr Sen, the Brighton Pavilion parliamentary candidate, says Labour’s plans to reverse the decline in clean energy investment and to include a decarbonisation target for the power sector for 2030 are the commonsense approach.
Purna’s comments follow a meeting with Caroline Flint, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and the publication of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Purna Sen said: “When I met Caroline Flint in Brighton to talk about climate change I told her of the dismay of so many of the people I have been talking to on the doorstep in the city.
“They are dismayed that the present government has completely failed to live up to its pre-election boast that it would be ‘the greenest government ever’ and that it has failed to build on Labour’s internationally recognised work on the environment and climate change between 1997 and 2010.”
Under the last Labour government the UK was a world leader in pushing for tough action on climate change," Dr Sen
The IPCC report warns that without further strong action, temperatures will increase by about 4 to 5C, compared with pre-industrial levels, with devastating effects on the planet.
Speaking after the publication of the report, Caroline Flint said: “This report provides overwhelming and compelling scientific evidence that climate change is happening, is caused by human activity and will have a devastating impact if urgent action is not taken to reduce our carbon emissions and invest in mitigation.
“It highlights the need for a global, legally binding treaty to cut carbon emissions at the Paris Conference in 2015.
"But to have influence abroad we must show leadership at home. That's why the next Labour Government will set a decarbonisation target for the power sector for 2030, unshackle the Green Investment Bank and reverse the decline in investment in clean energy we have seen under David Cameron."
Legally binding, long-term targets
The Labour government brought in the first ever climate change legislation setting legally binding, long-term targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
Purna Sen said: “Under the last Labour government the UK was a world leader in pushing for tough action on climate change, signing up to the Kyoto Protocol and pushing for international action at subsequent conferences, including Copenhagen. In 2010 UK greenhouse gas emissions were over 21% below 1990 levels; beating our Kyoto target.
“As Caroline Flint has said, it is only a Labour government which can give the kind of leadership which will be needed at the Paris Conference in 2015 and which certainly won’t be given by this Coalition government.
“It is of great urgency that we prioritise measures to address both mitigation and adaption strategies. I am especially concerned that the potential rise on temperature will have absolutely catastrophic consequences for low-lying and island states, states, such as Tuvalu and Maldives, Bangladesh and Guyana the governments of which I worked with while at the Commonwealth. Whole populations face displacement due to rising sea levels.
“Our nearer neighbours in the Somerset levels and even here in Patcham, are also keenly aware of the devastating impacts of flooding and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.
“The latest IPCC reports put an unanswerable care as to the immediacy and extent of the problem we are facing. It is in our lives today and the time to act is right now.”
Read more about Purna's campaign here: http://purna4pavilion.org.uk/