CLIMATE change and the issue of how we power homes and industry in a sustainable manner are at the heart of the General Election.
The challenges facing the energy industry have been starkly illustrated by the devastating news that 4,500 Npower staff face losing their jobs, including at call centres in Leeds and Hull.
This is a tragedy for these workers and for their families, especially coming less than a month before Christmas.
It is to be hoped that Npower’s restructuring and reorganisation puts the company on a sounder basis and prevents any further job losses.
Renewable energy will certainly be a part of that.
But whether being greener is sufficiently to the forefront of politicians’ minds is uncertain.
The absence of Boris Johnson from the Channel 4 leaders’ debate on climate change, with his place at the podium instead taken by an ice sculpture, calls his stance on the issue into question.
Neither the Prime Minister, nor any other party leader, can swerve climate change or seek to make it a matter of secondary importance.
On the contrary, in the long term it is the single most pressing issue of our age, even more so than Brexit.
Public protests demanding action, and the mass worldwide uprising of young people inspired by teenage activist Greta Thunberg, have made clear the depth of concern and disillusionment with governmental actions.
No politician can claim to be credible without making climate an absolute priority.
Those who fail to do so will find the electorate is unforgiving.