10:10 is an ambitious project to unite every sector of British society behind one simple idea: that by working together we can achieve a 10% cut in the UK’s carbon emissions in 2010.
I have signed up to this excellent campaign but as you will see if you click here I am already playing a part, both through parliamentary activity and local activity e.g. through SusMo (Sustainable Moseley).
I have improved the energy efficiency of my home, including installing solar thermal on my roof and I compost all food waste using the bokashi system. Click here for more information and to read an article I wrote last year on actions I am taking to reduce my carbon footprint.
Although I am not vegetarian, I am cutting down on the amount of meat I eat - both by spreading it further with the addition of pulses and with wholly vegetarian meals. I am also trying to cut the amount of dairy food I eat, although after a lifetime of shunning cheese I have recently become a convert! I do not advocate a totally vegetarian diet as some meat, such as rabbit, which I eat a lot of, and hilltop lamb, which I buy in Wales, has a low carbon footprint .
Not wasting food is also extremely important in the battle against climate change and I am getting very adept at using leftovers. A book by Tristram Stuart, "Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal", has been part of my summer reading and it has really brought this point home to me.
I am a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee and one of our recent reports looked at the challenges faced by the UK in securing food supplies in a way that does not degrade the natural resources agriculture depends on, and which decreases the food chain’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Please click here if you would be interested in reading the report.
With regard to my transport emissions, I changed my car to one of the most efficient: a Skoda Fabia, which has similar fuel consumption to a Hybrid but is much cheaper to buy. I also cycle a lot both in London and Birmingham and I avoid air travel. I travelled by train on my last two holidays abroad in Italy and Spain. I will be retiring next year and with reduced car and air travel I anticipate I will reduce my personal emissions further in line with the 10:10 pledge.
In addition, I am very keen to be involved in setting up community renewable energy generation, which will be more feasible once the proposed system of feed-in tariffs come into operation (one way the Government is helping - though I have been critical about the prevarication in adopting this scheme, which is in widespread use in Europe). I have been involved in SusMo's recently submitted (and successful!) bid for funding through the British Gas Green Streets scheme but as a community we have the potential to do a lot ourselves.
In terms of my Parliamentary activity, I have tabled an Early Day Motion in support of the campaign and it has received cross-party support. A copy of the EDM is printed below.
During Prime Minister’s Questions on 21 October, I asked Gordon Brown to commit all Government departments and organisations to the 10:10 pledge and a copy of our exchange is below. Unfortunately he didn’t really answer my question!
Later in the day on 21 October, there was a debate on 10:10 calling on the Government to support the initiative and commit the House of Commons and the whole of Government to joining the campaign. I intervened to make the point that we are not currently on target to meet our 2020 and 2050 emissions targets and that is why the 10% cut in emissions next year is so important to get us back on the right trajectory. (Under the terms of the Climate Change Act 2008 the UK is committed to a legally binding target of at least an 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a reduction in emissions of at least 34% by 2020. Both these targets are against a 1990 baseline.)
Finally, I would be interested to know what actions you are taking as we can all learn from one another. Click here for details of how to contact me.
You can find out more about 10:10 and sign up here: http://www.1010uk.org/
That this House welcomes the 10:10 campaign, which aims to unite every sector of British society behind the idea that, by working together, it is possible to achieve a 10 per cent. cut in the UK's carbon emissions in 2010; notes that the campaign provides an opportunity for people, businesses and schools to come together to make a meaningful difference by concentrating on immediate, effective and achieveable action; recognises that climate change is one of the most important challenges facing humanity, requiring urgent and radical action; urges individuals and organisations to sign up to the campaign and pledge to cut their emissions by 10 per cent. in 2010; and calls on the Government to match this commitment at the national level.
PMQs - 21 October 2009
Lynne Jones (Birmingham, Selly Oak) (Lab): Will the Prime Minister commit all Departments and Government-controlled organisations to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent. by the end of 2010? After all, what chance do we have of achieving challenging targets for later years if we do not take this opportunity now?
The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend is absolutely right that Departments have a responsibility, and so do all public organisations—and I know that many commercial companies want to do this—but there can be no substitute for an agreement in Copenhagen. If we do not get an agreement in Copenhagen, the world will drift backwards, not move forwards, so I am determined to work with other leaders over the next few months and to go to Copenhagen to make sure that we can make progress at this vital time. I believe that there is support in all parts of the House for doing so.