Our environment is changing around us and not for the better. We must protect that environment and take responsibility for stopping the environmental damage which is causing climate change and the extinction of native plants and animals and damage to human health and safety. The government has committed to reaching a carbon neutral state by 2050. But we need clear steps to get there.
Renewable energy and wiser energy consumption must be key. I am very pleased and proud to have locally not for profit organisations helping parishes, schools and other public bodies to introduce local schemes sharing excess energy created within the community. But we need to do more. In particular all new commercial buildings and public buildings should be required to be designed for energy self-sufficiency using solar and other renewable power.
But it is transport systems which need to take a lead. It’s not just developing electric cars and establishing charging points, but looking at our commercial vehicles, buses, trains and planes. How can these be better fuelled in an affordable way? Cleaner fuels need to be developed and the government need to invest in research to store renewable energy, one of the biggest limiting factors in its use.
The air we breathe and the water we drink need to be clean too. I have signed many petitions for a new Clean Air Act. Newton Abbot already exceeds clean air toxicity limits and that must change. I have successfully fought for measures to keep Teignmouth beach clean, first from seagull guano and more recently from dredging deposits from the Exmouth Harbour into Sprey Point. I have been working with Greenpeace and the Seahorse Trust to end this practice and change the system which has allowed it.