Free public transport idea should be considered in climate change fight - The Yorkshire Post says

It should be way beyond a statement of the obvious by now that radical change is desperately needed in the UK and the world’s fight to halt a climate catastrophe.

A zero emission busin Leeds. Picture: James Hardisty.
A zero emission busin Leeds. Picture: James Hardisty.

Quite simply, big ideas are needed and leaders should listen to them. Now a major new report has warned that the British public could effectively “veto” the Government’s bid to reach net zero for carbon emissions unless the costs and benefits are more fairly shared.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled a plan in November for what he described as a “green industrial revolution” as part of the Government’s bid to end its contribution to global warming by 2050.

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But IPPR think-tank’s Environmental Justice Commission says local public transport should be upgraded and made free to all users throughout the UK by 2030, with free bus travel by 2025 as a first step. Experts and political leaders behind the commission are calling for fairness and people to be put at the heart of the drive to hit national targets for net-zero carbon emissions and the restoration of nature.

This comes as wildfires are now tearing through parts of the US amid record temperatures, presenting the latest indication that climate change could already be having an immense impact.

Clearly, offering free public transport would be a radical shift – one certainly at odds with a Conservative Government and councils – and one which is likely to meet with raised eyebrows.

Unrealistic though it may sound, these are the kind of proposals which leaders must be more open to if we are to truly combat the irrevocable chaos of environmental disaster.