Tele column – 21st July 2017

With President Trump now saying he may reconsider his decision to withdraw American from the climate change agreement at Paris it is interesting and encouraging to see how many Americans are buying into climate change and doing something about it. Despite their Presidents sceptical approach many American towns and cities have embarked on programmes to create 100% renewable energy systems. Burlington in Vermont (population of 42,000) has already achieved this through hydroelectric schemes. The entire state of Vermont is aiming for 90% renewables by 2050.

Imagine that a hydroelectric scheme providing all the electricity required for a town with the population of 42,000. If only we didn’t allow Inverclyde’s abundant water supply to be wasted year in year out. We talk about it and to be more precise we pay lip service to it but we never actually hitch our wagon to this splendid natural resource and do something about it. In Las Vegas all municipal buildings are powered 100% by renewable energy. When an administration has the foresight to lead by example it makes it much easier to encourage commercial enterprise to do the same. Many companies and individuals would buy into such schemes but the UK Government is not interested and Scottish Government has room for improvement. I note that homes being built by River Clyde Homes beside the Gourock rope works have solar panels and I would hope all new builds in Inverclyde, homes, businesses and public buildings would be required to fulfil ambitious environmental targets both in their build and in their own energy generation capabilities. We have the capabilities within Inverclyde and we shouldn’t be afraid to lead.