From: Nina Smith, Chair, Railfuture, Yorkshire branch.
THIS week’s UN Climate Change report must be a wake-up call to governments, corporate bodies and individuals.
Transport policy is a key factor in stopping the ruination of our planet. It is critical that both Government policies, and those being developed by Transport for the North and local authorities, recognise this.
Railfuture Yorkshire advocates the following as matters of urgency:
1. Massive capital investment in public transport, including new routes and stations, to enable a large modal shift of both people and freight from road to rail.
2. A continuing and ambitious programme of railway electrification, and the development of alternative technologies, to phase out carbon-emitting diesel trains.
3. A reversal of cuts to bus services and the integration of bus and train services at stations. Public transport must be seen in the context of end-to-end journeys.
4. Adequate car parking facilities at railway stations and the development of additional park and ride services.
5. The long-overdue development of a comprehensive tram/light rail system for Leeds and Bradford. This is the largest conurbation in Western Europe without a tram system.
6. As public transport is expanded, the introduction of urban road pricing and workplace parking levies to deter avoidable road journeys.
7. Fares to be reduced and kept at levels affordable to people on or below the regional average wage, and the freezing of road fuel duty to be lifted to shift the affordability balance from cars and lorries to trains.
We owe this to the people and the other animals and plants who currently and will in the future share Planet Earth.
From: Dr Peter Williams, Newbiggin, Malton.
A RECENT report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calls for “deep emissions reductions in all sectors... and a significant upscaling of investments in those options”.
The “large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) can only be achieved if global CO2 emissions start to decline well before 2030”.
This echoes the findings in 2016 of the Government’s own Committee on Climate Change that “even without additional emissions from onshore petroleum extraction, it is difficult to see how significant further emissions reductions could be found to offset the impact of additional fossil fuel production”.
In other words, the fracking and burning of more fossil fuels goes completely against the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, the international Paris Agreement and this latest IPCC report.
The imminent fracking in Lancashire and at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale reveals a governing party pocketing generous donations from the fossil fuel industry and overturning the democratic will of local communities – while at the same time claiming to support CO2 reduction. It’s a disgrace.
From: Stewart Arnold, Leader, Yorkshire Party.
THE Yorkshire Party supports the development of an energy policy for Yorkshire that has at its core an ambitious target of renewable energy use and innovative programme of low carbon technology use.
As part of that, we see no role for fracking and we restate our opposition to the extraction of shale gas across Yorkshire.
We want to see a commitment to increase spending on renewable energy. Government investment on green energy has been slashed in the last few years. With proper investment, Yorkshire can be a major contributor to green technologies.
From: Paul Muller, Woodthorpe Gardens, Sandal, Wakefield.
IN order to reduce the levels of CO2 and nitric oxide in the world’s atmosphere, we must stop producing so many vehicles. Nearly every family in the Western world has two or three cars.
We must develop many small nuclear power stations throughout the UK because, once they are running, they do not produce any carbon dioxide to cause climate change.
Keepers’ role in firefighting
From: Amanda Anderson, Director, Moorland Association.
YOUR newspaper’s praise of firefighter heroics (Playing with fire? Cost of fighting wildfires, The Yorkshire Post, October 8) during this summer’s wildfires is to be commended.
Fire and Rescue services performed admirably in very testing conditions.
It is, however, essential that other parties who were extensively involved in tackling the blazes receive due recognition, notably grouse moor gamekeepers.
Without grouse keepers’ moorland management expertise, specialist equipment and local knowledge, all supplied free of charge to the public purse, the wildfires would have spread more widely and caused further devastation.
Labour’s money pit
From: Bob Watson, Baildon.
JOHN McDonnell, the Marxist Shadow Chancellor, says that the Conservative pledge to end austerity “lacks credibility” (The Yorkshire Post, October 8).
If anything lacks “credibility” it is his own party’s plans, which will result in massive debt, the old story with any Labour government. Heaven help the country if this hard left group ever get into power.
He went on to state that the Budget “will have to make sure that the NHS is fully funded”. That comment, along with many others, just shows his total lack of reality. It will always be impossible to “fully fund” the NHS which is a bottomless pit.