The 10:10 campaign (www.10-10uk.org.uk) is an imaginative way of helping us to collectively cut our carbon output to avert runaway climate change. This is urgent for everyone. The unanimous vote of City of York councillors from four different political parties to commit the council to a 10% cut in its own CO2 output in 2010 shows the cross party support that is needed to achieve this. However local councils can’t do it on their own – the current government should show that it has strategies to achieve the targets in the Climate Change Act by immediately scrapping plans for a third runway at Heathrow, by placing orders for wind turbines to be made by the 600 workers laid off at the Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight and by halting the lemming-like widening of motorways across the country.
The UK has the best natural conditions for wind, wave and tidal energy, and we have millions of homes that need to be modernised and insulated. The government could do far more to make it viable for local councils to invest in local renewable energy, bulk purchase and installation of home insulation etc. Thanks to a Green budget proposal, a small pilot scheme has started in York providing free insulation to targetted areas with the worst energy ratings. We await the results with interest, but in the meantime everyone can do something, whether it is draught-proofing the doors and windows, walking or cycling once a week, or simply switching off your engine when sat in a queue for traffic lights (which would also help improve air quality for all).