CAROLINE MAKES WINNING CASE FOR WARMER HOMES, LOWER BILLS AND CLIMATE JUSTICE
More than a vision: fairer society, safer planet not only possible – it’s practical, achievable, urgent
Cold homes cost lives - kill thousands in UK every year: ‘Nonsense’ for Coalition and Labour to say we can waste billions on new roads or HS2 but can't afford to keep people warm in their own homes
Parties ‘undermining own environmental pledges' – Caroline calls for climate integrity
Labour must be pressed to be the Party people need and want
CAROLINE wasn’t named MP of the Year for nothing.
Today she’s demonstrated yet again her value as a local MP and national voice, making a winning case for warmer homes, lower fuel bills and climate justice.
The Pavilion candidate started the day on Good Morning Britain and R4’s Today Programme - and illustrated that a fairer society and safer planet isn’t just possible – it’s practical, achievable and urgent.
Tonight Caroline will participate in Brighton’s climate Question Time hustings at the Brighthelm Centre, where local residents can grill Pavilion candidates on their environmental positions.
On the hustings - entitled “The Future of Our Planet – Which party do you trust?” - Caroline said: “I’m very much looking forward to it – and I hope we get some straight answers from the other parties on their track records and priorities. Just weeks ago - as we approach the crucial climate talks in Paris - their leaders signed a significant joint pledge to tackle climate change, acknowledging it threatened the environment, our security and economic prosperity, too. But actions speak louder than words, and theirs are falling woefully short. It’s time for some integrity: currently, they’re completely undermining their own promises.”
We should be placing home grown renewables at very heart of our energy system, she said, taking giant leaps on community energy rights.
Caroline’s opposition the Government’s relentless shale rush is well-known: it’s defying both public opinion and science at taxpayer expense. And the science is clear: to avoid catastrophic climate change, about 80% of our existing fossil fuel reserves must stay underground and unburned.
We’d receive a far richer return on our billions, economically and in energy security, by going all out for homegrown renewables and efficiency. It would create jobs, slash emissions and cut fuel bills.
Earlier today she called the cold homes’ crisis ‘a grossly neglected national scandal’.
She said: “We know energy efficiency should be our number one infrastructure priority. It’s an issue hundreds of my own constituents have lobbied me on.”
Thousands of people die prematurely in the UK every year because they can't afford to heat their homes – that’s more people than are killed on our roads or through alcohol. Two million UK children are growing up in cold homes – and the crisis costs our NHS £1.3bn every year. Yet, over the past two years, the number of energy efficiency measures being installed in UK homes has dropped by 80 per cent.
Caroline said tackling the crisis ‘isn't a luxury for good economic times’ – adding that energy efficiency ‘affords a sensible solution to our real and immediate economic difficulties’.
The Green Party calls for a free nationwide retrofit insulation programme, concentrating on areas where fuel poverty is most serious - including parts of Brighton.
Caroline said: ‘The problem actually isn’t a lack of available funds – it’s simply a lack of political priority. Not a penny of the Treasury’s planned £100 billion investment in infrastructure currently allocated to tackling fuel poverty. It’s nonsense to say we can waste billions on new roads or HS2 but can't afford to keep people warm in their homes’.
She continued: “If we invest in insulating people’s homes we can get their fuel bills down on a permanent basis, so we’re not just talking about the short-term fuel freeze that the Labour party supports – and it would also get our climate change emissions down and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
Caroline added: “People in Brighton and across the UK are struggling with the cost of living, forced to choose between heating and eating. There is no excuse – we have practical, achievable solutions that will save lives and create jobs now and help build a sustainable world for our children.”
Campaigns manager Adam Macgibbon said: “Caroline’s track record speaks for itself: she gets the issues that matter on the agenda and keeps them there. She has tremendous political influence and works incredibly well across parties on a case by case basis – MPs and NGOS want to work with her. In the coming Parliament those qualities will be more important than ever and - on issues from climate to the NHS, cost of living and railways - Caroline is brilliantly placed to press Labour, in particular, to be the Party people need and want it to be.”
FUEL POVERTY IN FIGURES
- Thousands of people die prematurely in the UK every year because they can't afford to keep their homes warm – that’s more people than are killed on our roads or through alcohol.
- Over the past 2 years, the number of energy efficiency measures being installed in UK homes has fallen by 80 per cent.
- According to the Energy Bill Revolution Campaign, illnesses caused by cold homes are estimated to cost the NHS £1.3 billion a year. According to recent evidence, for every £1 spent on reducing fuel poverty, a return of 42p can been seen in NHS savings.
- According to the Energy Bill Revolution Campaign, at the start of this year, 2.23 million children in England were living in fuel poverty, and a survey by Netmums found 1 in 4 families have had to choose between heating and eating.
- The UK suffers from some of the least energy efficient housing stock in Europe – and allocating just two per cent of the Government’s current annual £45 billion infrastructure budget to housing retrofit would allow half a million low income homes to be made highly energy efficient every year.