Two environment stories from the UK caught my eye this week. It emerged that the rate of packaging recycling went down last year, despite Michael Gove’s grandstanding on plastic pollution. Then young people across the country walked out of school on Friday to protest the inaction of this government and world leaders on climate change.
It’s clear we’re at a crux point in the future of our planet and our species. There’s a growing public demand that we set right the balance between humanity’s needs and the ecosystems on which we depend. Tory inaction on an issue as clear-cut as plastic pollution shows that we need a change of approach at all levels of government.
Dover & Deal Labour are committed to tackling poor environmental standards and the social justice issues they present. We recognise that to be truly sustainable, any environmental action needs to be grounded in the reality of people’s daily lives – but we don’t lack ambition.
For example, if you elect us to lead Dover District Council in May 2019, we pledge to build 1,500 environmentally sound council homes over the next eight years. While addressing housing need, we will minimise carbon emissions and save hard-pressed families money on fuel bills.
We also pledge to develop a not-for-profit district bus company. Why? Because a better, cheaper public transport system reduces emissions and air pollution, and serves those who can’t drive or can’t afford to run cars.
Our manifesto includes other environmental pledges: to support the development of plastic-free communities, for example, to continue to improve recycling rates and to improve air quality. Labour councils and a Labour government offer the best opportunity for our country to become a fairer and greener place. If, though, the UK persists with Tory nonchalance regarding environmental issues, with the Tory philosophy of greed before need, then Nature will suffer, we will suffer and the hopes of the young people who took to the streets this week will have been cruelly betrayed.
Anne Napier, Labour portfolio holder Health, Environment and Waste