DESPITE our town council declaring a climate emergency, people in Knighton want more than empty words.

We are urging the council to ensure that all new houses built will be properly insulated and have solar panels and recycle waste water, will encourage less consumerism and buy local.

We want the council to support local farmers so they can change over from exploitative, intensive farming methods to low-carbon farming that would employ more local people, to encourage car sharing, to have council support to build a more resilient community to withstand the chaos that climate change is bringing our way. The climate emergency is already here and changes have to be implemented by us all now.

The Madrid summit ended with little progress towards reducing greenhouse gases. Over the past decade carbon emissions have been rising by an average of 1.5 per cent a year even though they needed to fall by 7.6 per cent every year until 2030 even to stay within the 1.5C ceiling needed to avoid disastrous consequences.

This has been due to the sustained resistance to decarbonisation by the major fossil fuel producer and exporter countries and the transnational corporations involved.

This is despite the huge improvement in renewable energy technologies, especially solar and wind energy, which are now below grid parity with fossil fuels energy.

The signs for the future of life on our planet are not good. Many key climate initiatives have been dismantled in the UK, with substantial cuts in support for solar power, lay-offs for thousands of industry staff, a further £1 billion of subsidies for North Sea oil, a reduction of incentives for low-emission vehicles, the scrapping of the “green deal” in support of energy-efficient homes and the privatisation of the Green Bank.

The scrapping of the zero-carbon homes plan has been disastrous as it would have had a steady cumulative effect.

The new Conservative government seems disinterested in prioritising climate issues, so it is up to us, the people, to insist on changes that will protect our world.

The COP26 summit will be in Glasgow in December. I wonder if all of us, as concerned citizens, can convince British ‘leaders’ to halt our greenhouse gas emissions.

If it does not do so, then any idea that post-Brexit Britain is a world leader will be shown to be a myth.

Angie Zelter