On a visit to Kingston College on Monday 26 January 2015 Ed was given a guided tour of some of the excellent workshops within the college and had a chance to meet some of the eager and driven young apprentices on various schemes.
On a recent visit to two schools in the constituency, I was very pleased to hear once again that the Liberal Democrat initiative of ‘Pupil Premium’ payments were making such a key difference to schools and the children who attend them.
Your recycling may be about to change – from weekly collection to fortnightly. Kingston Council has surprised residents with proposals to require them to store all their recycling, except food, for two weeks. One week you’ll have to put out your glass and tins, the next week your paper and cardboard.
In wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, I hope your 2014 was as happy as mine when Emily and I were blessed with the birth of our daughter Eleanor: I'll always be grateful to the wonderful staff at Kingston Hospital's maternity unit.
I’m half way through my third day at the Lima UN climate change talks and the negotiations look set to go to the wire this weekend.
But that’s not because there’s some crisis in the global talks – it’s because these are the most technically complex and politically challenging global negotiations ever. To make global agreements on how we move our carbon world to a low carbon world is an extraordinary task.
Liberal Democrats in Government already have a record of green energy delivery to be proud of. Renewable electricity generation and investment have both more than doubled since 2010 and our reforms will create 250,000 low carbon jobs by the end of the decade. Britain is ranked No.1 in the world for offshore wind investment, onshore wind now produces around 5% of the UK’s electricity and solar generating capacity increased by 60% last year.
When a Government introduces a new policy you would hope Ministers have some evidence that the policy is likely to work. There are few areas more important than education for having an evidence-based approach to new policies than education. Children shouldn’t be used as experiments for a fashionable theory.
We’ve done it! For Liberal Democrats in government, this EU climate deal is our most significant green win so far. While Liberal Democrats are passionate about tackling climate change, the likes of Owen Paterson and UKIP seem to delight in talking down the threat that it poses, but that should make us even more determined to tell people why this deal is so crucial.
I’m writing from the Climate Change Summit in New York, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. While Liberal Democrats don’t need reminding just how much of a threat climate change is – from the increased risks of flooding, to the impact on the world’s poorest – I thought it timely to give you an update on the progress we’ve made and what comes next.
On Monday, I summarised the appearances of Ed Davey at last weekend’s Social Liberal Forum conference in London. Here, I outline some of the views expressed and initiatives described by Ed on the day, including during a bloggers’ interview:
Using less energy
Fuel poverty is a serious issue. Energy inefficient building stock is a key cause.
My feelings during all this were similar to when Steve Webb addressed a local party supper club. I was thinking “Hey, this guy is doing fantastic, long-term stuff. Why the heck haven’t I heard about it before?”.
Today I published the Government’s first ever ‘Energy Investment Report’. It shows how Liberal Democrats in Government have delivered on jobs and investment in energy – particularly green energy – and shows the plan we now have for this to continue for decades to come.
Let me be clear – investment in the energy sector has not been a ‘nice to have’. We inherited a legacy of energy underinvestment from Labour and we’ve spent the last four years turning this around. The sheer scale of the investment has already been huge: between 2010 and 2013 we’ve secured £45 billion of investment in electricity generation and networks alone. The UK’s future energy infrastructure investment is larger than transport, communications and water spending combined.
President Barack Obama recently said in an interview on climate and energy that if there’s one thing he would like to see, it would be for the U.S. to be able to put a price on carbon emissions. He is right -- an effective market-driven approach to carbon pricing is crucial to tackling climate change and reducing emissions. The U.K. was the first to adopt carbon trading in 2002, and it continues to trade under the European Union’s Emissions Trading System.
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