Cornwall became the first large rural authority in the country to declare a Climate Emergency and a 2030 Carbon Neutral target back in January 2019.
That was because I put an amendment to the Council, argued for it and pushed it through by working cross-party with other councillors and environmental groups. Cornwall Council now has a Carbon Neutral Action Plan. But, as we saw with the Government’s recent Energy Strategy, it is easy for Conservatives to make promises, but also easy to drop them when they become difficult or inconvenient. There is so much work to be done on the environment, nationally and in Cornwall.
We need to keep the pressure up so we complete the transition away from fossil fuels to renewables. The opportunities for Cornwall with our plentiful stock of wind, sun and geothermal energy are huge. Cornwall should be the heart of renewables in the UK. The Labour Party has committed £28 billion per year to build a Green Economy. As an MP, I would make sure that a fair share of that investment comes to Cornwall to create high quality, green, unionised jobs in the renewables sector and in retrofitting our inefficient housing stock.
Getting a new emphasis on local suppliers
I hadn’t been a councillor long when this happened in January 2019.
Another councillor had a motion on the Climate Emergency that Labour supported. Unfortunately the LibDems didn’t and they watered the motion down to writing a Climate Change ‘report’.
We knew that Cornwall could do better and so I proposed an amendment to that motion to declare a Climate Emergency and put in a 2030 target for Carbon neutrality, with support from environmental campaigners and Martyn Alvey.
This is the 8 minutes where I made my summing up speech, the amendment was voted through and Cornwall became the first large rural authority to declare a Climate Emergency. We became a trailblazer! It’s a moment I will never forget.
Since then the report has been published and although it has been a hard push, there HAS been progress in Cornwall.
I’m proud of Cornwall’s Climate Emergency Declaration and our ambitious 2030 target and I’m very proud that it was me, a Labour councillor, that proposed it.