By Max Salsbury

It’s been a very tumultuous, very illustrative, very typical and, ultimately, very frightening few weeks in the climate change arena – which, if the worst predictions are even half accurate, is really the biggest game in town. Record, life-threatening temperatures have recently been recorded across the globe; Greece has been devastated by the worst forest fires on record; and extreme localised rainfalls have been causing chaos.

Closer to home, our politically muddled attitude to CC has been exposed once again. The Conservatives managed to hang on, albeit with a hugely reduced majority, to the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, after former prime minister Boris Johnson’s resignation sparked a byelection. The blame for Labour’s failure to win the seat has been placed at the door of London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, and his ultra low omission zone (ULEZ), which sees drivers of high-polluting cars charged £12 a day.

With ULEZ declared the deciding factor in Labour’s loss, the leadership has apparently started to panic and started wondering if maybe focusing, or even mentioning, green issues might not be the best way to win a general election – which doesn’t bode well for the future. But in another twist, it’s now being questioned if ULEZ was indeed an important factor in the Conservatives’ retention of the seat.

As if to cement the creed of political expediency over climate action in the wake of Uxbridge, prime minister Rishi Sunak this week announced over 100 new North Sea oil and gas drilling licences. As counter to conventional wisdom on CC as the move sounds, Sunak has a mitigating plan: he also announced carbon capture operations to be built in the Humber and north-east Scotland. As is being increasingly pointed, trying to fix our carbon issue with tech solutions rather than reducing our carbon use isn’t likely to end well, especially as it would seem to give companies and governments a kind of safeguarding licence to INCREASE fossil fuel consumption.

As for housing, here’s some good news: whg has been accredited as a sustainable housing provider by pan-European consultancy RITTERWALD; and Karbon Homes have fitted 91 homes with external wall, cavity loft, and underfloor insulation, new roofs, and PV panels, making them warmer, greener, and cheaper to run.