Today is Budget Day 2013. A vast majority of the political press is focused on the rather uncomfortable economic situation which prevails in the UK, as in much of the rest of the Western world. However, I think that we may be taking our eye off the ball a little when it comes to a far greater long-term challenge for the UK - and for that matter for the world. That challenge is to live within our means in terms of energy consumption. For that reason, I have decided to write to my MP today in order to ask her to support an amendment to the Energy Bill which is currently laid before Parliament. It is reproduced below:
Dear Jenny Willott,
I'm writing to you in connection with an amendment to the Energy Bill tabled by two of your Parliamentary colleagues, Tim Yeo and Barry Gardiner. The amendment seeks to add a decarbonisation target for electricity to the Bill.
Energy sustainability is a huge challenge for the world to meet. It can only be achieved if we all do our bit. I have spent a reasonably large sum of money (around £5,000) to add solar panels to my property. In so doing, I have taken advantage of the guaranteed 'Feed In Tariff' rates which mean that the solar array should have paid for itself within the next ten years or so.
That's all very well for me - as I can afford to spend this money investing in solar technology. However, unfortunately, many are not in the same situation that I am in.
I understand that you have a role within the Government, as a Whip. However, I would ask you to examine your conscience and to vote in the interests of your constituents - and of the UK. Voting against this amendment is not simply a matter of playing 'petty politics' within your increasingly fractured Coalition Government. It's voting against your party's official policy of implementing a 2030 decarbonisation target. And it's voting against the world's best interests.
It is all to easy to say that one person's voice does not make a difference. However, we must remember that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. And by voting in favour of the Yeo/Gardiner amendment we can start on that journey.