The most important observation is that our response to the pandemic has shown that dramatic, effective society wide action canbe taken when an emergency is recognised. The climate emergency is potentially every bit as threatening as Covid-19, arguably much more so. The key difference is that the timescale of impact is slightly longer. But our experience over the last few months has shown that dramatic changes in society and behaviour are possible when necessary.House of Lords COVID-19 (43 downloads)
The second observation is that the experience of lockdown has shown that many aspects of the previous ‘normality’ were not as important and valuable as we might have thought and thirdly, we learnt that some of the changes consequent on ‘lockdown’ which might on the face of it be thought of as wholly negative, have in fact had significant benefits.
What are the things that you are most worried about?
Our biggest concern is that as society learns to live with Covid-19, with or without an effective vaccine, the ‘new normal’ will look too much like the old one, with a return to unsustainable consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
What do you most hope changes for the better?
The most important challenge for us all is to rapidly decarbonize our economies so as to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible. Our hope, therefore, is that the experience of rapid and dramatic response to one emergency (Covid-19) is taken as clear evidence that widespread and rapid change in the way that society operates, and individuals behave, is possible. Specifically, we hope to see a rapid changes in travel and transport patterns, energy generation and use, and land use, along the lines detailed in our attached ‘Call to Action’. We also hope to see improved infrastructure to enable home working, and support for a more localized economy.
We encourage national and local government to take action as follows in support of climate change mitigation and to help facilitate projects and initiatives planned for the Hope Valley.