THIS week, at Labour Party conference in Brighton, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves gave an inspiring speech pledging £28billion a year until the end of the decade to make Britain’s net-zero transition a reality.
This investment will range from new battery factories to wind turbines and from new cycle paths to more trees and stronger flood defences. And help really is needed on this front.
The Committee on Climate Change chief executive recently pointed out that the costs of climate adaptation will be much greater in the future if we do not act now, modernising the economy and creating new jobs at the same time.
Yet the independent Institute for Government has warned that the “government has faltered in producing a credible plan to convert [its] targets into meaningful action”.
Meanwhile, worryingly, a new group of Tory MPs have set themselves up along the lines of the “European Research Group” – which helped bring about Brexit – to question this desperately needed investment.
On top of this the government’s decision to cut overseas aid fails to square with the COP26 climate summit’s emphasis on finance and collaboration.
Former Tory cabinet minister Lord Gummer has called this “a very serious mistake,” saying it will make it much more difficult for the UK to persuade others when it hosts COP26 next month.
Camden is proud to be playing its part. During COP26 we will host an event that will be live streamed to Glasgow, with speakers including local community leaders, activists, and business. We are looking for examples of best practice in carbon reduction to showcase.
Please visit our Camden Climate Change Alliance website to find out more, register to attend, and share your experience.
And this month’s full council meeting will be dedicated to COP26, with councillors and guest speakers debating what more we can do to halt the climate emergency, including how to secure the much-needed funding Rachel Reeves has identified but which the government prefers to spend on Serco test-and-trace and assorted other contracts for their friends.
I hope many people in Camden attend, watch, and take part in the important events we will be holding in the coming weeks.
CLLR ADAM HARRISON
Cabinet Member for a Sustainable Camden