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Green issues must remain top of agenda - Jo

November 19, 2010 12:00 AM

Jo recently met local supporters of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition to discuss the need for firm action on climate change.

Constituents Ross Greer, Nicola Sherlock, Ros Jarvis, Christine Morrison and Jean Langhorne raised their local and national environmental concerns with Jo as part of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition's 'Big Climate Connection' event. They discussed various issues including Government targets for renewable energy production and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.

Commenting, Jo said:

"Here in East Dunbartonshire I have always been encouraged by constituents' willingness to send strong messages to Westminster on climate change, and it is encouraging that campaign groups like the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition are ensuring that environmental issues remain top of the agenda.

"I will be writing to my Liberal Democrat colleague, the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change Chris Huhne, to ask him to address my constituents' concerns, and following a question I asked in the House of Commons recently, the Minister has assured me that the Committee on Climate Change is looking at whether our renewable ambitions can be raised. This Government is committed to cutting carbon emissions to give us a good chance of limiting the global temperature rise to 2 degrees, however there is still much work to do and I hope the forthcoming UN Conference in Cancun can move us closer to a global agreement."

Commenting, Stop Climate Chaos Coalition supporter Ross Greer said:

"I was optimistic that Jo would be as supportive of our concerns as she has been throughout her time as our MP, and this was certainly the case as we spoke about a range of issues including the protection of native people in areas of deforestation, the difference between the Lib Dems' manifesto pledges, EU law and Coalition policy on renewable energy, a Robin Hood tax and the difference in carbon emission targets between Westminster and Holyrood.

"Jo agreed with us on most of these issues and we felt confident that she would represent our concerns in Parliament. If we act now, we can stop a rise in global temperature of any more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, and halt the destruction of our natural environment."

Notes to Editors

1. The full text of Jo's question is as follows:

11 Nov 2010 : Column 422

Jo Swinson (East Dunbartonshire) (LD): The Government's current target is for 15% of energy to be produced from renewable sources by 2020. If the measures we are taking to encourage renewables prove successful, will the Government consider being more ambitious and revise that target upwards?

Charles Hendry: We have asked the Committee on Climate Change to look at whether that level of ambition should be raised. We are also examining whether we can do more through international co-operation: have some areas of renewable energy been locked out because they cannot be used for other countries' domestic markets, so can we go further by looking at a "whole islands" approach around the British isles to maximise the resources that are available?