Letter: Waggot aiming low

In his defence of South Tyneside Council’s unsatisfactory carbon emissions target, council leader Councillor Paul Waggott (“Council Aiming Too Low”, Gazette, September 12) has only illustrated that the council is short on motivation when it comes to tackling climate change.  He says that “the figure of per cent over five years may well be right”.

It is indeed right, and he should know – his cabinet approved it.

The level of council apathy to climate change is further illuminated by Coun Waggott’s assertion that the council’s carbon emissions “cannot be turned around in a couple of years”.  That’s hardly surprising given such feeble target.  Grasping for credibility, he also boasts that the council “already” uses a “council vehicle powered by electricity.”  Congratulations.  Our local milkman has been using an electric vehicle for years.

The climate situation is worsening and new research suggests that our climate system is approaching a dangerous ‘tipping point’.  Poor targets mean delays on adequate emissions reductions, which will mean that future emissions cuts will have to be greater to avoid such a disastrous outcome.

The council is putting off until tomorrow what it should be doing today.  As South Shields MP David Miliband put it, “What is clear is that we need to act with imagination and innovation, and we need to do so sooner rather than later.”

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