Crawley Observer Column, Wednesday 18th September 2019

Earlier this year, Crawley Borough Council joined with other local authorities and legislatures around the world to declare a climate emergency, recognising the rapidly decreasing window of opportunity mankind has to stop catastrophic climate change.

While the challenge is global, this is a war which can only be won if action taken by every individual at every level of human activity. The importance of conserving water and energy, reducing consumption and recycling where possible, and switching to more sustainable forms of transportation are all well advertised and most people do now seem to make an effort to do their bit, even if we all have room for improvement in our lives.

The council is also currently towards carbon neutrality. In addition to reducing the town’s dependence on carbon by helping to roll-out greener sources of energy, we’re working to enhance the insulation of local homes, improve the town’s public transport and cycling infrastructure, make greater use of wildflower verges, and switch council vehicles over from fossil fuels. Our goal is to ensure that with each new set of improvements we can bring the target date for carbon neutrality forward.

Yet, while we can all do our part, ultimately we cannot achieve the change we need without change at the top, we need a national strategy with the power to build the economy of the future. 250 years ago the UK kicked off the Industrial Revolution, a force which was not only swept the country, but the world and made our country the world’s strongest economy on the planet for well over a century.

For the last few years, Labour has been creating the policies necessary to kick-start a Green Industrial Revolution, at the heart of which is a principle that giving up on fossil fuels does not mean giving up on improving people’s lives. On the contrary, by making the UK a global leader in the next stage of the world’s economic development we have the chance to not only help undo the damage of our first Industrial Revolution, but to deliver a better quality of life for all UK residents.

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