The Camden New Journal and Ham & High published the below letter from me about the leadership that the Conservatives are showing on electric car charging and the slow progress being made in Camden by comparison.
I was pleased that the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on electric cars was welcomed to Belsize Village on Saturday to endorse Camden Conservatives’ plan to install 2,000 electric car charging points across Camden.
As an environmentalist, this is a subject that I’m passionate about, and a policy that Camden Council is in desperate need of adopting. It’s great to have the backing of Dame Cheryl Gillan, the MP leading on electric cars (she also happens to be the MP leading the opposition to HS2!).
The UK Government is hosting an international summit on zero-emission vehicles in the autumn. This shows real global leadership: using technology and diplomacy to move the whole world towards a low-carbon future.
Since 2010, the UK has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by a quarter: twice as much as France and six times as much as Germany. Nonetheless, air pollution is stubbornly high in urban areas like Camden, and that’s down to vehicle exhausts. It doesn’t need to be this way.
The government gives a 75% grant towards installing charging points for electric cars: which produce no carbon dioxide, no nitrogen oxides, and less than half as much particulate matter. But instead of bidding for funds to install hundreds or thousands of charging points, Camden sadly has plans for just 33.
As notable as the government’s summit is Conservative-run Wandsworth Council’s announcement that they’re looking to install car charging points for residents’ use in every lamppost in the borough. By using lampposts, they reduce costs to just £250 per charger: allowing them to install thousands.
That’s real leadership on air quality from a local council, and a lead that Camden should follow. That’s why Camden Conservatives set up a petition at www.MakeCamdenElectric.com to call for more charging points and are pushing to install 2,000 in lampposts across our borough.
I’m pleased that the Prime Minister wants to take the world with us towards a low-carbon future. But as the Friends of the Earth slogan goes: think global, act local. We need to take Labour-run Camden with us, and so far, they’ve not shown the same leadership as Conservative-run Wandsworth.