Greens call for Midlothian to play its part following Paris Climate Agreement

Monday December 28th 2015

Greens Paris Agreement

Midlothian Green Party has hailed the Paris Agreement to combat climate change as a “major achievement for the world” but warns that “Midlothian must play its part” if the agreement is to succeed.

“It was absolutely vital that agreement was reached at Paris” said Green Councillor Ian Baxter (Bonnyrigg) on Sunday. “Without it, disastrous climate change was inevitable. But the hard work starts now, to make the changes in the way we live in order to meet the targets agreed in Paris.”

Governments from around the world agreed to limit global temperature rise to no more than 2°C and to strive to limit it to 1.5°C. But there are no penalties for countries that fail to meet their targets.

Scotland has failed to meet its carbon emissions reduction targets for four years in a row. The UK Government has slashed support for solar, wind and hydro energy and carbon capture and storage technology since coming to power in May.

“We need to grasp the opportunities in Midlothian” said the Green candidate in the Midlothian West by-election, Daya Feldwick. “There are lots of practical things we can do, such as:

– promoting more local employment in Midlothian, instead of encouraging more commuting to Edinburgh;
– improving public transport and cycling to get more cars off the road;
– protecting and expanding our carbon-saving green spaces and woodlands;
– developing district heating systems instead of having wasteful and expensive gas boilers in every house;
– putting solar panels on every new house;
– promoting new green jobs instead of chasing the myth of jobs in the declining opencast coal industry;
– keeping fossil fuels in the ground by opposing fracking, coal bed methane and underground coal gasification.”

Councillor Baxter added: ”Midlothian Council has set its own target of reducing the county’s emissions to 4.5 tonnes of carbon per person per year by 2020. But it has no plan for how to get there. We need to start now.”

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