Plea for 50pc cut in cars to avoid 'catastrophic' consequences for farmers
PUBLISHED: 11:00 20 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:13 20 January 2020
Joseph Casey Photography
A politician has called for the East of England to cut car journeys in half, and solar panel installation for more than a million homes in a bid to avoid "catastrophic levels of global warming".
Green Party MEP for the East of England, Catherine Rowett, proposed a series of measures to overhaul the way we use energy in the region.
Dr Rowett warned of "catastrophic" consequences for the East of the country unless drastic action was taken, including droughts, flooding, and increased heatwaves.
Her proposals include completely eradicating fossil fuel consumption and switching to renewable energy sources, installing air- and ground-source heat pumps in 1.5 million homes and retrofitting 1.3 million homes per year from 2020.
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The MEP said: "Unless we reduce our environmental impact, much of the East of England will be flooded, and the rest of the region will suffer increased heatwaves and drought, crucially affecting, amongst others, the farming industry."
Other proposals include installing solar panels on 1.5 million homes and on 200,000 industrial and commercial buildings, and switching up to 50% of car journeys to walking, cycling or public transport.
According to Dr Rowett, generating green energy would also create nearly 40,000 long-term jobs in the region.
She added: "As we enter 2020, a whole raft of councils in the East of England have declared a climate emergency, but no government has plans adequate to the scale of the global overheating challenge.
"Generating green energy at local scale can help create regional jobs, building community cohesion, and reducing the demand for imported gas and for dirty, centralised and foreign-owned power stations like Great Yarmouth or Sizewell."
When the MEP was elected in May, she said her priorities would include ensuring a fairer deal for small businesses by changing the "irresponsible tax regime"; working for improved animal welfare standards in areas such as live animal exports; pushing for environmental protections such as bans on pesticides and herbicides which can have harmful and improving public transport as part of a broader package of initiatives to reduce fossil fuel use.