Readers’ letters - December 17

Investment in new fossil fuels ' such as fracking ' should be halted says a correspondent. See letter
Investment in new fossil fuels ' such as fracking ' should be halted says a correspondent. See letter

Deal needs firm pledges

We welcome the deal to keep the global temperature rise to well below 2C, with an aim to keep it below 1.5C – this is a significant step forward in the global recognition of the dangers of climate change. However, the deal does not set out a timeline for the phasing out of fossil fuels, and therefore fails to offer a good chance of meeting its target.

The COP agreement must rapidly convert its goals into new national pledges in line with what the science tells us about how much remaining carbon can safely be burned. It should also acknowledge that the major share of this belongs to developing nations that have not been burning coal, oil and gas for the past 150 years.

To have a reasonable chance of meeting the 2C goal, all investment in new fossil fuels must be halted now – both coal and fracking. Public funds spent subsidising fossil fuels should be redirected into renewable energy and used to support poorer majority world countries to build the clean energy infrastructure they need.

Adrian Ramsay,

chief executive, Centre for 
Alternative Technology

Our citizens come first

The Conservative Coalition Government enshrined into law that 0.7 per cent of our GDP is spent in foreign aid through officials from the Department of International Development (DfID), who scour the world in order to find suitable project to support. This equates to £30m every day and is set to rise to over £16bn every year by 2020. While the good people of Cumbria and other parts of the country suffer the damage and misery that the floods have caused, I’m sure that they will be delighted to know that we have reduced our risk management and defences budget by more than £100m yet we have still managed to send around £1m on flood barriers in the Serbian city of Lazarevac.

Surely our own citizens should come first, after all they pay the taxes that finance our country. But our apologist career politicians spend the money as if it were their own, forgetting where it should be spent and whose pockets it came from.

Our current Prime Minister and his Conservative Government tell us “it’s the right thing to do” (one of his favourite expressions) and try to make us all feel guilty if we don’t agree with them ( just as they use climate change as a convenient excuse to cover their backs). Well, enough is enough, and Mr Cameron and his Government should wake up the follies of their ways. The British citizens should come first, and they will remember those who have failed them at the elections next May.

Philip Griffiths

North West President, UKIP 
(UK Independence Party)

Top tips for sufferers

One in 11 of your readers has asthma and sadly there are warning signs that more people than usual are seeking help from their GP and NHS 111 because of worsening asthma symptoms. There is nothing as terrifying as watching a loved one struggle to breathe and sadly this Christmas Day someone will be having a potentially life-threatening asthma attack every 10 seconds. Asthma UK has five top tips for managing your asthma at Christmas on and I want to remind readers they should not be afraid to call for help if they need it. If you are having an attack and your reliever inhaler is not helping, you should call 999. I hope you all have a very Happy, and Healthy, Christmas and New Year.

Kay Boycott

chief executive, Asthma UK