I have just returned from Washington, D.C. where I spent the the last four years as the Director for Climate Change at the World Bank. I’ve been directly involved in the climate change negotiations and I was inspired and hopeful as a result of the historic Paris Agreement. However, I was deeply disappointed in the outcome of the recent talks in Katowice, Poland. The politicians and our leaders are letting us down as we face the challenge of changing our addiction to fossil fuels and our consumption habits.
I was brought up in Hornsea and, over Christmas, my family and I visited my mother who still lives here to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary. I was a voluntary reporter on the Hornsea Gazette in my youth and I always read the local newspaper when I return. I was delighted to read the January edition of the Hornsea Community News. I was exceptionally impressed by the quality of the journalism and the clarity of the editorial content. I was deeply moved by the fact that Hornsea had received recognition in the Plastics Free Communities’ Status award.
I’ve travelled the world and seen first hand the impact of climate change on the poorest and most vulnerable. (I actually wrote this blog which references Hornsea and coastal erosion after a trip to Benin to see the serious challenges that country faces http://blogs.worldbank.org/nasikiliza/in-benin-can-resilient-investment-solutions-save-a-battered-coast.) I’m increasingly coming to the conclusion that real change will be delivered at a local level and the movement towards sustainability that’s developing in Hornsea is our main chance of creating a viable world for future generations.
As they say in the US, kudos to you, to the newspaper, to the people of Hornsea, together with courageous leaders like Paul Parry who started the campaign on plastics and councillors like Julie Kemp who provide political leadership, for confronting the issue of living within our planetary boundaries through serious journalism and local action. It’s a beacon of hope and an inspiration to the rest of the world.