I am hoping the Government goes Green not nuclear. The announcement of a massive wind farm off the North Devon coast is very welcome news as it offers a very Green and clean future for us all, with little prospect of it being a potential controversial blot on our beautiful rural landscape. Combating climate change starts at home, literally at home, as 27% of the UK's carbon emissions are produced by the electricity, gas and oil used to heat, light and power our homes. Perhaps surprisingly this is twice as much carbon dioxide as our cars produce. Renewable energy has to be the way ahead.
Our homes burn fossil fuels for little return, wasting energy and warmth. Government policy under both Labour and the Conservatives has been lax about reaching international standards. If we had Swedish levels of home energy efficiency, the average householder would currently save £385 a year. Cutting green house gases produced by our homes by 60% (the Government's target by 2050) would cut carbon dioxide emissions more effectively than taking all our cars off the road. The Atlantic Array as the Bristol Channel project has been dubbed could offset the South West's carbon emissions by almost 30%.
To date England's use of renewable energy has been lamentable, indeed it is hoped that the Government's Energy White Paper published yesterday will address this. I for one await its recommendations with interest. However, the Government's support for new nuclear power stations undermines the long term goal of increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.
Altered weather patterns, reduced access to water, rising sea levels and crop failures will affect all areas of the world. Even if drought and rising sea levels are containable in England, we will not escape the wider consequences of events elsewhere. The Government should reject nuclear power and instead invest in reducing the amount of energy we use. It needs to be committed to tackling climate change and delivering a clean, green and safe energy strategy for the decades ahead. In the meantime Atlantic Array has my total support.
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