You may have heard of ‘COP26’ in passing but it is something you will be hearing a lot more about in the next few weeks. In November the UK will be hosting the global COP26 Summit in Glasgow which will be pressing for more urgency and greater global commitment to reduce CO2 emissions that are heating up the planet. This will be a very significant event although ultimately, its success will depend on the actions that countries commit to and implement.
I am proud that our nation is a global leader in addressing global warming. We were the first major economy in the world to set Net Zero in law and we are on course to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. We were already up to 44% by 2019 and we are decarbonising our economy faster than any other G20 nation. We have reduced greenhouse gas emissions faster than any other major economy in the world since 2010.
There is of course more to do. However, it is frustrating that extremist protesters have placed themselves, motorists and the police in danger, in their causing of misery for thousands by blocking the M25. These reckless and irresponsible actions are wholly counterproductive and alienate people against what should be a common cause for all of us, that of reducing our impact on our planet. I very much welcome the injunctions brought against these protesters but they will just pop up somewhere else, trying to stop people going about their lawful business. Our police have much better things to do and I’d like to see the cost of policing to deal with this so-called ‘direct action’ recovered directly from these individuals, rather than from the taxpayer.
Turning to positive action to make a difference, last week our Prime Minister attended the UN General Assembly, met with the US President, and hosted a meeting of world leaders, all to underline the need to take concrete steps on global warming. The foundations are being laid for a successful COP26 Summit as we press other nations to follow our lead.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
29th September 2021