James Osben

1. Action on housing. We will upgrade 4 million homes to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C in our first term, investing £2.3bn per year to provide financial support for households to insulate their homes. To ensure all new builds are zero carbon, fitted with solar panels and prioritise affordable homes in a new zero carbon homes programme, ensure all council and housing associations reach EPC band C, and provide funding to support councils and housing associations to build new homes to Passivhaus standards. Not only will this help with climate change but will mean cheaper energy bills for households. In Newton Abbot I would propose that we put any further development on hold to re-examine sustainability. I would want to ensure that any new housing meets local needs and does not have an adverse impact on local infrastructure. In addition to this we need to ensure that new developments do not have a detrimental impact on local ecological systems and wildlife.
2. Action on transport. We will introduce a new Clean Air Act. To ensure that public transport is both cheap and serves the needs of our communities particularly in more rural areas. Enable the expansion of public transport by bringing our railways back into public ownership, capping fares, and supporting the creation of municipal bus companies that are publicly run for passengers not profit. Taking trains and buses into public ownership allows the services to be run both in an environmentally friendly way and will make public transport more accessible and more affordable. A publicly owned transport service removes the need for additional profit to service shareholders, it means services can be run with the environment and the needs of the public at the front and centre. If services are cheap and reliable it will encourage members of the public to use public transport rather than their own cars. In Newton Abbot I propose that we expand public transport and increase the frequency of bus services to all parts of our rural towns and villages. More accessible public transport is key to reducing our over reliance on cars.
3. Action on energy production. We will invest in green energy production. We will ensure that 60 per cent of the UK’s energy comes from low-carbon or renewable sources within twelve years of coming to power. Upgrade and invest in flexible energy networks capable of supporting a transition to decentralised renewable energy, by bringing the UK’s energy transmission and distribution networks back into public ownership. This means making more use of local, micro grids and of batteries to store and balance fluctuating renewable energy, and providing the necessary investment to connect renewable energy sources to the grid. I will promote the use of solar panels on existing homes and make sure that we invest in green energy sources in our constituency.
4. Action on farming, fishing, habitats and wildlife management. Parts of the UK are among the most densely populated areas in Europe, and there are many competing claims on land which have to be balanced responsibly. At the same time, the UK and even parts of England are home to some of the least populated areas of Europe, and these should be managed in a way that enables rich and complex ecosystems to thrive. Healthy soils, oceans and woodland are vital for our food security, for mitigating and preventing flooding, supporting pollinators and biodiversity more broadly, and storing carbon. They are also important in their own right. We will reconfigure funds for farming and fishing to support sustainable practices, smaller traders, local economies and community benefits. We will embed and enhance in policy the responsibility for farmers to conserve, enhance and create safe habitats for birds, insects and other wild animals, and encourage the growth of wildflowers. It is vital that we support our farmers in Newton Abbot and encourage the long term preservation of wildlife habitats.
5. Action internationally. The Labour Party are very aware that large companies whose main priority is profit cannot be relied upon to take action to prevent climate change. We have a strong social justice approach to this issue and believe government must lead the way with the survival of the planet being put before profit. Labour has a proud history of international leadership on the environment, and a Labour government took a lead role in pushing through the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. Unfortunately, at a time when international cooperation to address common environmental challenges is needed like never before, the multilateral institutions and processes through which international agreements are reached are being undermined. Labour stands firmly behind the Paris Agreement on climate change, and would be committed to consolidating and enhancing the whole body of international environmental law. My aim is for the South West and Newton Abbot to be a leader nationally and internationally in tackling climate change.