Councils are doing their bit – are you?

Sunday 26th June 2022 9:19 am
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Petersfield Climate Action Network (PeCAN members at their stall in The Sqaure) can help you find out how best to make homes more energy efficient

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Both Hampshire County Council and East Hampshire District Council are stepping up to the plate to reduce the carbon footprint in this area.

This helps the environment, but it is also cutting back the UK’s energy dependence on repressive regimes such as Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.

The county council is installing solar panels on more than 300 schools.

And the district council is aiming to adopt a new planning policy that requires the very highest standards of sustainability for all new builds.

But as well these measures help improve the environment in the face of global warming, it isn’t an exaggeration to say European security is now inextricably bound up with energy security.

It is well established that Vladimir Putin has weaponised European energy supplies while presenting a clear threat to freedom and democracy in Europe.

Russia is benefiting right now from the sky-high gas price which Putin’s war has created.

In the UK, our embargo on Russian gas or oil means we don’t buy it directly from Russia.

But the commodities markets are global, and prices will stay high so long as demand stays high.

And it isn’t just Putin we need to think about. Many of the states which export hydrocarbons are morally questionable.

The world’s dependence on fossil fuels sustains autocracies around the world such as Iran, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.

As a result, democracy is in decline.

But there is only so much that councils can do – individuals need to play their part too.

Here is something everyone can do though; take your personal carbon footprint as close to zero as you can over the next year.

By reducing your reliance on carbon, you will be making a massive contribution to helping the UK to wean itself off fossil fuels.

But it won’t be a walk in the park to reduce your carbon footprint.

You need to do some research, speak to installers, fill in some forms.

But it is a noble cause and a satisfying project.

With gas prices heading ever higher, it will save you money over the medium term too.

To help you could, for example, install more insulation in the walls and roof of your home.

You could also switch to an electric vehicle, fly less, install solar panels, buy local farm produce, dust off the bicycle or even find out about your local community energy group.

Everything you do, big or small, helps makes a difference.

Your councils are doing their bit.

I am proud that together we can accelerate the energy transition and stand up to Putin.

This will give us a much better chance of leaving behind a peaceful and sustainable world for our children and grandchildren.

It will also help us to restore nature and improve air quality in this special part of the country.

If you would like advice on how to decarbonise your home, and access subsidies, visit the website at petersfieldcan.org

For more ideas, visit the PeCAN organised eco-fair on the Petersfield Heath on Sunday, July 17. Or pop along to the eco café on Tuesdays from 10am to midday at Gallery 30 in Petersfield High Street.

For more information about local community energy groups email [email protected]

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