Building a Green FutureDuring Climate Change Week (3-9 March 2014), Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson has called on the government to do more to tackle climate change and support a green economy.

Currently the UK supports proposals for a 40 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions, which evidence suggests are the main cause of man-made climate change. Most greenhouses gases are released during energy production, so improving energy efficiency in the home can save money and support the environment.

The Energy Saving Trust state that a typical household could save between £45 and £80 a year just by turning off appliances that have been left on standby, while adding insulation to a loft space could save up to £180 a year. The trust has more saving ideas here:

The government’s answer to improving energy efficiency was the launch of its flagship Green Deal scheme in January 2013. But by September 2013 only 384 households had signed up, while 99 per cent of the 71,000 households who received a Green Deal assessment did not take out a plan. The Green Deal has also been slow to conduct energy efficiency surveys; at the current rate it would take 160 years to survey all the homes in the UK.

A future Labour government would scrap the dysfunctional Green Deal and replace it with an energy save scheme, offering better value for the consumer and greater protection for the environment.

Investment in energy efficiency can do more than bring down domestic energy bills and help the environment. It also has the potential to create new jobs in ground-breaking green industries. Nissan’s decision to build the Leaf in Sunderland has led to the creation of thousands of local jobs and a revolution in the use of electric cars in the north east, with the region now rivalling London and other major UK cities to be among the greenest car areas in the country.

To encourage similar success stories in the north east and other regions the government must do more to create a stable environment for regional investment in energy efficiency.

Commenting in support of climate change week, Bridget Phillipson MP said:

“Supporting greener, cleaner energy production not only helps our environment but also helps to reduce the cost to the consumer.

“Everyone can potentially save hundreds of pounds a year but the government’s green energy deal has failed to provide the level of support required. A future Labour government would scrap the Green Deal and replace it with an energy save scheme, which would offer better value for the consumer and would for both the environment and the consumer.”

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