Another case of gesture politics

Hastings is planning to be carbon neutral
Hastings is planning to be carbon neutral

From: Eric Waters, Ingleside Crescent, Lancing

Borough councillors have committed to making Hastings a carbon neutral town by 2030 (Observer, February 22).

Whilst that statement may well sound like a target well worth aiming for, it completely ignores the fact that, whilst the UK has cut right back on coal-burning power stations – it is now down to just seven with a capacity of 11 gigawatts – China’s huge number generate 1,000 gigawatts.

On top of that it has plans to produce another 25 per cent, which alone is the same capacity as the entire United States.

Or, to put it another way, the UK spews out enough coal-produced carbon to power the equivalent of around 7.7 million homes, but China emits enough for 700 million.

Cllr. Evans may well be right when he says that the next 12 years will be the most crucial few years in human history, but can he can also tell us what difference the decisions taken by Hastings Borough Council to install more electric car charging points, and expand its programme of sustainable energy generation on its land, will make in the grand scheme of things?

I would have thought that his time, and that of his colleagues on the council, would be better spent putting pressure on all parties in Parliament to get the message out that unless China, which out-produces the next major producer of coal-burning carbon emissions by a factor of three, starts thinking about the future of our planet, and not just itself, whatever Hastings manages to do over the next dozen or so years will be a total waste of councillors time and council-taxpayers’ money.

To my mind HBC, declaring that it is ‘committed to making Hastings a carbon neutral town by 2030’, is just another case of gesture politics; saying something because it sounds good but in actual fact it is nothing more than ‘pie in the sky’.