Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP
House of Commons
Dear Robert Jenrick
I did not imagine I would be writing to you about a small piece of irreplaceable Fenland habitat near York and the threat from property developers to destroy it. Understanding the value of our natural environment is key to a sustainable healthy future.
Globally our whole planet is under threat from Covid 19 and climate collapse. Could the former be a turning point to help solve the latter? A cool-headed assessment is required. Thankfully, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has just produced a report titled ‘The Global Climate 2015 to 2019’ to help us understand where we are. The New Scientist interviewed the author Petteri Taalas who had some very interesting things to say.
- During the past 20 years we have seen the 19 warmest years on record.
- We have observed concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of 415 parts per million (400 was once regarded as critical.)
- During the past century sea level rise was typically 1 to 2 millimetres per year, during recent years we have seen the rise of between 4 and 5 millimetres per year.
- 20 years ago we had 20 million people exposed to heat waves on an annual basis, during the past 3 years we have exceeded 200 million a year. We have seen casualties from this in Europe at over 75,000 people in a single year.
Where is all this leading? Is it possible that we will reach the lower limit of the Paris agreement, the international accord on limiting climate change, a 1.5-degree increase, during the coming five years – we typically see warming of 0.4 degrees per decade.
With these sobering conditions in mind as we invest in the recovery from COVID-19 it is imperative that we tackle climate change as part of the recovery. This is perfect opportunity to start solving the problem.
The IPCC report found last year that emissions must fall by 7.6% every year this decade to meet the Paris agreements goal of checking warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius.
We cannot assume the climate catastrophe is solved by Covid -19. We must not head back to burning coal, oil and gas. If we allow the climate catastrophe to continue the health and economic impacts will be much higher than the ones that we are facing with this “short term” COVID-19 crisis. If you compare casualties from hunger the numbers are already much higher than the COVID-19 casualties.
Details here for the CEE. What it aims to achieve:
What about the little scrap of fenland bog in Askham near York? Well I am pleased to say you made the right decision and stopped the development. I wholeheartedly congratulate you for this. Please focus your mind on solving the much bigger yet more important problem of the climate crisis with similar resolve. You would be very welcome to visit Hockerton Housing Project to see our attempt at a solution for low cost low impact eco housing with a holistic approach while still meeting very high environmental, social and financial standards.
If you have read to here congratulations. If you have read to here and you are not Robert Jenrick please consider sending this or a similar letter to your MP. If you are an MP please consider acting upon this information.
If you want to come to see Hockerton Housing Project for real book a place here for the 12th September.
May be of interest….a webinar run by The Concrete Centre provides an introduction to thermal mass and its energy/carbon saving benefits. It will cover: What is thermal mass? How is it used? How is it measured and how much do you need? General rules of thumb are provided throughout the talk, including the upfront carbon savings that can be achieved through avoided internal finishes and M&E plant. Book now
|All the best
Simon Tilley 3/9/2020