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Green New Deal for Calderdale?

From Finn Jensen

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Calderdale has been hit by floods several times. Climate change is knocking on our door.

Like the rest of the world we have been hit by the coronavirus and it is still with us. In fact, it has been particularly bad in parts of Halifax.
This has resulted in rising unemployment, falling living standards and increased demand for foodbanks.

Air pollution is so bad that around 40,000 people die early in the UK each year. Air pollution is bad for all of us but particularly bad for children.
All this has been made worse by ten years of austerity policy from the Conservative government. Calderdale Council has lost £100 million in government funding – leading to cuts in public services.

So, what can we do about this – in Calderdale and elsewhere?
If we super insulate our homes, we not only reduce our energy bills, reduce admissions to hospitals but we also reduce air pollution and create a lot of useful jobs.

If we switch nearly all transport to become electrical driven, we also dramatically reduce air pollution and reduce traffic noise. We also reduce climate change – particularly if we generate the electricity from renewable technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels. Another good way of creating highly skilled jobs.

If we Plant trees in towns and cities, we can reduce heat waves as trees create shade and a cooling down effect.

If we eat a lot less meat, we will have plenty of extra space in the countryside to plant trees, which also helps reduce flooding & climate change, helps biodiversity and create jobs.

These are some of the elements in a Green New Deal for Calderdale. You can also suggest other ideas at a public online meeting on Tuesday 1st September at 7:30 pm. There will be two speakers to introduce the debate:

Kevin Frea is Cabinet member for Climate Emergency at Lancaster City Council and Co-ordinator of Climate Emergency UK

Councillor James Baker is the leader of the Liberal Democrats group on Calderdale council and is a member of the council's climate emergency panel.

The public online meeting is organised by Calderdale Green Party. You can email info@calderdale,greenparty.org.uk and you will be sent a Zoom invitation to join the meeting.