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Friends of the Earth seek climate change pledges from candidates

Update: Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Neither Craig Whitaker or Steph Booth have replied to our further messages. But that doesn’t mean either party is opposed to the pledges. In fact Oliver Letwin has recently replied to further FOE HQ lobbying to say that the Conservatives do accept the principle of local carbon budgets for every council — the essence of Pledge 2 — and last night on ITV George Osborne explained that because Conservative candidates are receiving requests for hundreds of pledges they have decided to respond centrally. And in January the Labour government also accepted the principle.

The UK response to climate change has always been cross-party — which is good — so I think voters can assume that all four candidates support the pledges. However it would have been just helpful and courteous if these two candidates had quickly responded; and to give them credit the Liberal Democrats and the Greens did just that.”

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Throughout the election period Friends of the Earth members and others have been asking the candidates in every constituency if they will support two pledges on the critical issue of climate change. So far in Calder Valley we’ve had positive responses from Hilary Myers (Liberal Democrat) and Kate Sweeny (Green) — thanks very much; but no answer so far from Craig Whittaker (Conservative) and Steph Booth (Labour).

So, as every candidate chases those final votes and voters make up their mind who deserves their support, why don’t you join us in asking Craig and Steph to commit to these pledges?:

Pledge 1: Would you back an international deal on cutting emissions — where those responsible make the deepest cuts first, and developing countries are supported to grow in a low carbon way? To do this, we need to work hard to cut our own emissions. Our current targets for cutting greenhouse gases aren’t high enough; we need to be aiming at a 42% cut by 2020, with sufficient investment to achieve it. Is this something you support?

Pledge 2: We need to make sure that councils do their fair share of cutting our emissions — would you back Local Carbon Budgets for every council area including Calderdale? They would make sure each area plays its part in meeting the UK’s climate targets and create local jobs, boost the economy, and slash people’s fuel bills. Communities would benefit from better-heated homes and more sustainable transport systems.

See also: Calder Valley Election Forum

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