Saving the planet starts at home in Hastings

Climate change is terrifying  (Photo by NASA via Getty Images) SUS-190315-074847001
Climate change is terrifying (Photo by NASA via Getty Images) SUS-190315-074847001

From: Cllr Maya Evans, Carisbrooke Road, St Leonards

Hastings going carbon-neutral another case of gesture politics? I don’t think so Eric Waters (Letters, March 1).

Mr Waters quotes me as saying the next 12 years are crucial to stop the worst effects of climate change and asks: “Can he tell us what difference the decisions taken by Hastings Borough… will make in the grand scheme of things?”

Well, here’s my answer. But first: Cllr Evans is a woman – well I was the last time I checked!

Secondly, halting climate change starts at home, and that does literally mean turning off lights, insulating your home, changing over to renewable energy suppliers, cycling and walking whenever possible – in short, we need to get our own housekeeping in order before we start criticising others.

Thirdly, with only 12 years left before irreversible climate change Armageddon, it is not a great time to be splitting hairs over which country has produced the most amount of carbon.

You highlight emissions by China. But it’s worth noting that since 2015 China has actually been the world leader in wind generation.

China’s recent decision to stop taking Britain’s household waste, and its 2020 aim to have 20 per cent of its energy from renewables, show they most definitely have their eye on the prize of ‘greening’ their energy output.

Our own government’s policies are abysmal. Rather than criticising China, Mr Waters might ask Energy Minister Claire Perry why her government has placed an effective ban on onshore wind farms.

And while we’re at it, let’s not forget it was our own MP Amber Rudd who, when Energy and Climate Change Secretary, gave the green light on fracking – a process that rips up the countryside to produce gas and yet more carbon emissions.

Like China, Hastings wants to go all-out in building up and investing in renewable energies. As a start we have already fitted solar arrays to many of our council buildings, as well as on a large retail unit on Castleham industrial estate, in my ward.

And this is just the start of Hastings Borough Council fulfilling its responsibility to the residents of Hastings, not to mention its responsibility to the planet.

Climate change is terrifying. We can either do everything we can, both big and small, within our power to stop catastrophe or we can sit back and go down with the ship.

Averting climate change is going to take positivity, bravery, resourcefulness and co-operation, all of which start at home, and that’s exactly the tack HBC are taking both in policy and in our aim to be carbon-neutral by 2030.