Jonathan Reynolds MP

Serving the communities of Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley, Longdendale, and Dukinfield

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This week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has served as a stark reminder of the scale of the task the world faces on climate change. The report concludes that climate change is already happening, it is set to get much worse, and there will be profound consequences for the UK and the world if action to mitigate it is not stepped up now.

Now the Government must consider how this will impact on our approach to foreign policy. With the armed forces reduced in size, and our commitment to the conflict in Afghanistan winding down, this could be a period where foreign policy is no longer overshadowed by military engagements.  

The Paris Conference in December 2015 will be an opportunity for the world’s leaders to reach agreement on a legally-binding agreement to ensure we take the action needed to prevent a catastrophic global temperature rise of above 2 degrees.

This is an area of policy where the UK’s vast resources, global influence, and diplomatic network could be put to good use.   

As the first country in the world to pass binding legislation to tackle emissions the UK has a great deal of credit in the bank – credit that, unfortunately, is beginning to be eroded by the softening commitment from the Coalition Government.

What would success in Paris look like? An agreement that includes for the first time all of the major CO2 emitters and which contains a commitment to mitigation and legally binding rules. It will also need to address issues of finance, deforestation and climate adaptation.

Many people worry that such a treaty is too difficult to achieve given the unlikelihood of any US President persuading the Senate to ratify an international treaty. But over the last year, under President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, there has been a fundamental shift in US attitudes to climate change.

The attitude of the US and what it does will invariably impact on the approach that China takes, but we should recognise that climate change, and related issues around air quality and environmental degradation, are issues that China’s leaders take extremely seriously.

The politics of this will naturally be challenging. Some present this as a choice between addressing climate change and ensuring economic growth, but that need not be the case. This agenda also represents an enormous opportunity for the UK – we are already leaders in green manufacturing, and it is one of the few areas where the UK currently has a positive balance of trade with China. It also brings with it a host of related benefits in terms of energy security, better housing, and greater sustainability for business.

For a safe and prosperous future, and for a chance to engage a new generation in one of the biggest political issues we have ever faced, leading on climate change and the Paris Conference must form an essential part of any Government’s foreign policy agenda.

Climate change: a national priority on the international stage

  This week’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has served as a stark reminder of the scale of the task the world faces on climate change....

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This morning Jonathan joined local Councillors and activists at Stalybridge train station to launch a campaign against proposals that could remove 9 trains from the TransPennine Express fleet, which operates services through Stalybridge.

If you wish to sign the petition you can do so by clicking here.

Jonathan launches campaign to save Stalybridge's trains

This morning Jonathan joined local Councillors and activists at Stalybridge train station to launch a campaign against proposals that could remove 9 trains from the TransPennine Express fleet, which operates...

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Jonathan has spoken out in response to reports that TransPennine Express’s fleet of trains could be reduced by 13% in order to bolster Chiltern Rail services in the South East.

The news came after a recent report in the industry press which claimed a deal had been done with leasing firm, Porterbrook - who provide trains to the TransPennine Express franchise - to move 9 of their 70 trains to Chiltern when the current lease expires in 2015.

The move would seriously affect commuters in Stalybridge, as the trains are the ones used on the Leeds - Manchester services, which stop at Stalybridge station.

Commenting on the news, Jonathan said the move would be “a total disaster for commuters here in Stalybridge”.

“TransPennine services running through Stalybridge are already some of the most overcrowded in the country, if their capacity is reduced even further it is going to push things to breaking point. Without a guarantee of replacement trains I really can’t see how they will be able to cope.”

“I have been arguing for some time that we need more rolling stock on these services, the last thing we need is even fewer trains than what we already have.” 

“There needs to be a clear plan on how these vital services will be maintained, and I will be raising this with Secretary of State for Transport as a matter of urgency.”

 

UPDATE: Jonathan has now launched a petition against these proposals. If you wish to sign it you can find it by following this link.

Jonathan speaks out on prospect of TransPennine train loss

Jonathan has spoken out in response to reports that TransPennine Express’s fleet of trains could be reduced by 13% in order to bolster Chiltern Rail services in the South East....


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