On 4 July the Department for Transport launched its delayed Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which sets out the Government’s commitments and the actions needed to decarbonise the entire transport system in the UK by 2050. Main changes include a ban sale of new petrol and diesel heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and buses by 2040, with plans to stop the sale of combustion-engine vehicles weighing between 3.5 tonnes and 26 tonnes five years earlier.
Though the primary focus of ACE is on climate breakdown, it is clear that many of our pressing environmental problems are linked. One of the many issues we have to contend with is depletion of natural resources. This means we are using minerals faster than they can be replenished through natural regeneration. Even some renewable resources, such as timber, are being used more quickly than new trees can be planted or grow. We are also diminishing the ability of the earth and its atmosphere to cope with our waste products, particularly carbon dioxide.
Fossil Free East Yorkshire has described plans to drill for oil and gas as ‘utter madness’ and has launched a campaign to stop proposals to exploit an estimated 189 billion cubic metres of gas and 31 million barrels of oil lying below countryside near the Yorkshire coast. Oil and gas extraction is already taking place near the village of West Newton, nine miles from the port of Hull.
Rathlin Energy, the company involved, has applied for planning permission to East Riding of Yorkshire Council, based in Beverley, to drill more wells, which opponents say will triple the size of the operation. A public consultation on the planning application is taking place and the council says that all comments received during the consultation period will be considered when preparing the report to go before planning committee.
The Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) which includes Yorkshire Housing, has launched a Tenants’ Climate Jury to find out how tenants, social housing providers and others can work together to tackle climate change in our homes and neighbourhoods. The Jury will bring together a representative and inclusive group of social housing tenants to question invited experts, where possible reach consensus, and deliver an action plan for action for adoption.
ACE’s Treasurer, Tess McMahon, a Yorkshire Housing tenant in Settle said: “”I do hope my landlord, Yorkshire Housing, is taking dynamic steps to reduce carbon emissions. I would hate to think that my gas boiler might be causing a problem. I hope their vehicles, and those of any contractors they use, are reducing their emissions with challenging targets that are robustly checked and complied with. I very much hope that their contractor who recently came across our gardens spraying paths was using a spray that did not cause harm to the insects and hedgehogs that enjoy our gardens.”