Rail freight is critical in climate change fight – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Nina Smith, Chair, Railfuture Yorkshire.

The rail network has a key role to play in the Government's Net Zero agenda, says campaigner Nina Smith.

CONGRATULATIONS to The Yorkshire Post on launching your climate campaign, and for publishing the excellent article from the Archbishop of York (The Yorkshire Post, July 31).

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As he so aptly puts it: “Our insatiable desire for everything may leave us with nothing.”

The rail network has a key role to play in the Government's Net Zero agenda, says campaigner Nina Smith.

Tackling the climate emergency affects everything and it is time that the Government and local authorities fully consider the climate implications of all their decisions.

A yardstick as to how much the climate message has penetrated Kirklees Council will be apparent in its decision on the 
mega-warehouse application in Heckmondwike.

This proposal is environmentally damaging, not just from the impact on the neighbourhood, but because it will encourage yet more HGV journeys.

The Government needs to legislate to ensure that all future large warehousing and distribution centres are rail served, given that rail is by far the most climate-friendly form of freight transport.

This needs to go hand in hand with a major programme of railway electrification – something on which the Government must stop dragging its heels.

From: Ian Richardson, Railway Street, Beverley.

YOUR Saturday essay by the Archbishop of York (The Yorkshire Post, July 31) was a finely constructed argument and gave a powerful message to us all about the pressing need to properly address climate change.

He is right to write of the “moral duty” of people to do far more to deal with this existential threat, particularly to future generations and to other species.

It is understandable that the Archbishop did not become overly political in his analysis, yet the brutal reality is that only governments have the tools to fully tackle the looming crises.

Electorates have a pressing responsibility to demand much more of politicians, particularly this current government, whose green achievements are very unlikely to match their promises.

The imagery of the Ouse in flood by his Palace at Bishopthorpe was arresting. Let us hope those with power use it as wisely as those words of Stephen Cottrell.

From: Dr John Cameron, Howard Place, St Andrews.

THE pre-COP26 summit in London, intended to shape the agenda and outcome of Glasgow’s ‘Green Jolly’, caused barely a ripple with the two issues which will dominate proceedings flying under the radar.

Firstly, speaking on behalf of the continent, South Africa demanded $750bn-a-year from the US, the EU and Brexit Britain to pay for its “green transition”.

This is much higher than the $100bn set for 2020 – which hasn’t arrived. And whatever is promised in Glasgow, a $750bn-a-year transfer of capital from well short of one billion ordinary taxpayers in the West to the corrupt government elites in the developing world won’t happen.

The second elephant is the reluctance of India, China et al to hobble their drive for industrial strength by renouncing the use of coal. Asia and Africa know that vastly more people die from poverty and disease each year than die from global warming and that their people can adapt to climate change without wrecking economic growth.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

ONCE again a West Yorkshire “transport revolution” is in the air (The Yorkshire Post, August 2). This involves eight mayoral authorities bidding for a share of £4.2bn.

It sounds rather like a shouting match in which the loudest voice gets the most. Did London, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and Nottingham have to compete in this way, or did they demonstrate an irresistible need for the funding of vital public services? Leeds has been doing this for decades, yet remains rooted in the 1960s. I would love to share Mayor Tracy Brabin’s optimism and hope that my cynicism is confounded.

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