Largan column: 'Let's make High Peak the Climate Change capital'

In his latest weekly column, High Peak MP Robert Largan discusses what's being done to tackle climate change both in the UK and in the borough.

Climate change is the biggest global challenge we face as a species. As sea levels rise and extreme weather events increase, people around the world are being put at risk. Future waves of migration are likely to be driven by climate change.

This is an issue I care about deeply. In my first ever question in Parliament, I highlighted the importance of restoring our peat moorlands in the High Peak and urged the Government to not just maintain environmental protections but to enhance them.

The UK has been leading from the front in efforts to tackle climate change. It is a major achievement for the UK to be the first country to legislate a legally binding target to eliminate our contribution to climate change by 2050.

Emissions have already been cut by more than 40 per cent in the UK since 1990, while the economy has grown by two-thirds.

Last May, the UK went without running coal power generation for over two weeks, which is the longest coal-free period in the UK since the nineteenth century.

As coal power generation has declined from 39 per cent of electricity in 2012 to 5 per cent in 2018, coal-free periods are becoming more regular. My hope is that reliance on coal power generation will be reduced to zero by 2025.

As a result of our international climate fund (ICF) support over the past eight years, the UK has reduced international greenhouse gas emissions by 16 million tonnes. That is the equivalent of taking three million cars off the road for a year.

These achievements have been recognised by the international community, which is why the UK was nominated to host the COP26 UN climate talks this year.

This is not just an issue for world leaders and national governments to grapple with. Climate change is also a local issue that directly impacts our communities and way of life in the High Peak.

Last weekend I got to take part in the New Mills Community Conversation held by Transition New Mills and the Town Council. It was really encouraging to speak with people about their ideas on how to tackle climate change.

As an MP, I am feeding back these ideas to the Government in the run-up to COP26.

I am committed to supporting serious solutions to climate change. By working together, we can turn High Peak into the Climate Change capital and help conserve our planet for the next generations.

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