Letter: Hepburn’s environmental split personality

It’s good to see Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn throw his weight behind the fight against climate change (Gazette 8th March).  It’s a pity that it seems like another example of political ‘greenwash’, as his government has failed to do anything concrete to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  Mr Hepburn is a supporter of the second Tyne road tunnel and dualling of the A1 in Northumberland.  Building more roads helps to increase car use, bringing higher emissions.  Transport already accounts for 22% of the UK’s CO2 emissions.  Ignoring road building’s impact on the environment, the Labour government have another 200 road building schemes on the cards.

The Labour government is also behind massive airport expansion plans.  Since aviation is the UK’s fastest growing source of CO2 emissions, these plans seem more like environmental vandalism than “making positive progress”.

Far from having “done a significant amount to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” as Mr Hepburn claims, this government’s failure to act decisively has seen an increase in CO2 emissions since Labour came to power.

Environmental sustainability should form the basis of all local and national government decision making.  We’ve heard enough warm words on climate change from politicians.  We need bold action to fight it – now.

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