Climate change represents the biggest threat to the future of our planet that we face and politicians at all levels have a responsibility to show leadership and do their bit to tackle this immense challenge. That is why Lambeth Labour has committed to an historic pledge to play our part in making London run 100% on clean energy by 2050. Ahead of the landmark UN climate summit in Paris that begins next week, I am proud to join Labour’s Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan MP and the leaders of more than 55 Labour councils across Britain, such as Manchester, Cambridge, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle in pledging to make our towns and cities 100% clean by 2050.
The pledge, initiated and co-ordinated by the Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Lisa Nandy MP, will see Lambeth continue our commitment to use cleaner energy supplies, greener transport systems and to insulate homes. It is estimated that such moves will cut the UK's carbon footprint by more than 10%. We’ve also been working with other councils across the Co-Operative Councils Innovation Network to highlight best practice examples of schemes that engage local communities in tackling climate change. In Lambeth, we have been developing a community based water management strategy and inspiring people to create new ways to manage their environment along the route of the lost river Effra. And we’ve supported co-operatives like Brixton Energy that allow residents to generate their own energy and reduce carbon emissions.
In recent months, we have seen similar pledges like ours from leaders across the globe, from Copenhagen to New York and from Malmo to Munich. Yet the Conservative government in the UK has cut solar support by almost 90%, announced the sell-off of the Green Investment Bank, and begun legislating to prevent new wind farms. We heard last week in a leaked letter from the Energy Secretary that the UK is not on course to meet our renewable energy targets, a betrayal of our commitment to fight climate change. It seems a long time since David Cameron made his hollow promise to lead the “greenest government ever” and when world leaders meet in Paris, the UK Government must follow this lead from Labour council leaders and deliver real action.
Where Labour is in power, like in Lambeth, we will push for the action required to tackle climate change and to ensure that the people who live in our towns and cities get the warm homes, secure energy and clean air that they deserve.
Cllr Lib Peck
Leader of Lambeth Council