Carla Denyer on BBC Question Time

On her first appearance on BBC Question Time, Green Party of England and Wales co-leader Carla Denyer dismantled a right wing argument that tackling the cost of living crisis is incompatible with rapid action to address the climate emergency.

Denyer was pushed to address the argument after comments from Bloomberg columnist Merryn Somerset Webb. The journalist said of addressing the climate crisis and decarbonising the economy: “This is a long journey and if you want to speed it up significantly, you have to accept very dramatically falling living standards at the same time. And you cannot speed up this transition to the extent that I think you [Carla Denyer] want and deal with the cost of living crisis that we all worry about so much. You can’t do both. There has to be nuance, there has to be trade offs.”

Throughout Somerset Webb’s comments, Denyer was shaking her head in disbelief. When she was later brought in to respond, she was met with applause from the live audience. She replied: “I’m afraid I fundamentally disagree with your assertion that you can’t tackle climate change and cost of living at the same time – we absolutely can and there are so many measures that tackle both.”

She continued: “The UK has the leakiest homes in Europe. People are spending so much on their energy bills only for it to blow out the windows and the doors and the gaps because they’re poorly insulated. If we had a proper, big, nationwide home insulation programme street by street, that insulated people’s homes, it would bring down their bills, it would give them warmer, more comfortable homes which are healthier, and we’ve heard all about – recently – the issues with living in cold, damp homes, and it would tackle carbon emissions. It can be done.”

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